The nature of work is changing and the question is who is ready. Without question technology has reshaped the economy and the way things get done in the workplace. Years ago something a simple as getting gas for the car was a full service experience and the gas was paid in cash. Now pumping gas is a do it yourself job and paid by credit card. Technology is changing us, our world and the workplace. Think of the amazing amount of access to data on a smart phone compared with a computer 30 years ago.
Today smart phones have an “app” for just about anything a person needs that is quickly downloaded with IT assistance. Access to the internet is something most Americans enjoy every day but not everyone in the world has access to that technology. Access is changing and each day those in the world who have limited technology gain more access which is shrinking our world.
With these advances in technology changes we are experiencing amazing globalization in the workplace. Who needs the mall when we can make purchases online and our purchase ships directly from overseas. People's expectations continue to increase and it is not enough to simply do enough on the job just like it had been done the last 15 years. The jobs we used to do are not just changing as technology advances, jobs have been eliminated and more will be eliminated entirely.
With the explosion of data access just knowing information is not enough to just do the job that is expected. Automation is hard at work everywhere and not just in our factories, hospitals and schools. Machines are expanding and doing the jobs that repetitive mundane jobs, or physically dangerous jobs or the high detail precision work with smart machines shows no sign of slowing down. Those who lose their jobs to technology will need to retool.
Those who keep up with technology and are innovative ready will find it easier to keep up in the workplace and adapt. Technology is non stop and coming at all of us fast. Like the ice age workplace survival will require adaptation. Those who are on the latest technology curve will be better prepared for the changing workplace. But to keep up with the technology will not be all that is required. Knowing what to do with the data will be an important ingredient to remain competitive.
Those who do not keep up with the innovations that come with technology will be stuck in the past. Regrettably there are approximately 3.7 million long term unemployed in the United States. Since the recession recovery this group has been slow to find jobs in the post recession economy. At the same time people are dropping out of the workplace each month because they have given up looking for work and believe there is not a job out there for them. They may be right.
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