What will our jobs look like in a 5G future?

We keep hearing about how technology will transform the way we live and work. This can lead to both anxiety and misconceptions about the likely changes we will experience and whether the impact will be positive or negative for us in terms of our standard of living and overall happiness.

Misconceptions particularly abound in relation to how our working lives will be impacted in the future. Will robots really take over most of our jobs?

Research from Deloitte Access Economics (DAE) – The path to prosperity, why the future of work is human –  shows that there is little to be anxious about. While technology will make workplaces more productive, if we make good choices about the technology and work now, there is great potential for greater prosperity and job creation for the future.

In fact, DAE concludes that while robots will take over the most repetitive and routine tasks; humans will have plenty of more challenging and interesting work to do. Future jobs will require creativity and interpersonal skills as well as knowledge. The skills most in demand will be human skills such as customer service and conflict resolution as well as communication and digital literacy. It is therefore sensible for businesses to invest in building the skills of employees now so that they have the requisite skills, rather than bank on being able to hire these skills at some future point which is the riskier option.

DAE also predicts that workplaces will be more flexible, however, we are actually more likely to stay in the one job for longer as casual and self-employed jobs continue to fall. However, lifelong learning will be a necessity as industries experience rapid change. And technology provides improved ways to learn that are faster and more flexible with apprenticeship models and cadetship programs becoming increasingly popular ways to develop both knowledge and experience.

These findings are consistent with AMTA’s report – Mobile Nation 2019, the 5G Future – which found that mobile technology provides increase flexibility enabling us to work where and when we choose with at least 25% of Australians working at least one hour per week outside the office. And over a third of Australians said that their mobile device has improved their work/life balance (with almost half of us being neutral on this question and 24% feeling it has had a negative impact).

You can download and read the full report on the future of work from Deloitte Access Economics here.