How far workers will go to remain employable in 2030

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Office workers and shoppers walk through Sydney's central business district in Australia, September 7, 2016.
Office workers and shoppers walk through Sydney's central business district in Australia, September 7, 2016. Reuters/Jason Reed

Workers are aware that in order to keep their jobs, skills need upgrading, and a recent report shows employees are willing to walk the extra mile to stay competitive. PricewaterhouseCoopers has released a report that paints a picture of how the average workplace will look in 2030.

It shows an increasing job competition as workers see the threat of automation. It has found that employees may be willing to change their bodies and brains through medical treatment in order to adapt to the changing, competitive workforce.

More than 10,000 workers from different countries participated in the study. Seventy percent said they would consider enhancing their brain and body if it would boost employment prospects.

Employers, on the other hand, will be “obsessively” monitoring and measuring data from their workers. Organisations are expected to track employees’ performance, health, location and wellbeing inside and outside the workplace.

Workers may have chips implanted under their skin or treated with yet-to-be developed technology to collect the data. The report says organisations will utilise the data to forecast performance and to anticipate risk.

Corporate world

Furthermore, the research predicts that people in the corporate world will rely on a productive workforce and will see huge companies compete for the best talent. “They push past the limits of human ability by investing in augmentation technology, medication and implants to give their people the edge,” the report reads.

Researchers also predicted that workers in the corporate world may need to compromise privacy to remain competitive. Employees were overwhelmingly mindful of how jobs were changing across all areas of workforce, the report adds.

Seventy percent or nearly three quarters of respondents said they were ready to learn a new skill or completely retrain to keep themselves employable. They saw this as a responsibility.

Australian PwC partner Jon Williams stated that as pace of change is accelerating, workers are adapting. “People are shifting from a qualification that would last a lifetime to thinking about new skills every few years, matched with ongoing development of personal skills of such as risk management, leadership and emotional intelligence,” news.com.au quotes Williams as saying.

Many workers believe it is automation that put their jobs at risk. According to Williams, it was up to organisations to have “mature conversations” with their employees and help them understand future changes.

A recent ANZ report shows that job advertisements reached 177,879 in July, according to CommSec. Job ads were up 12.8 percent on a year ago.

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