As we head into 2021, it has been clearly seen that we are encountering changes at a rapid pace. The ways of engaging in which we are conducting business are rapidly evolving. This process showcases the concept of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is an upending of our basic economic and social constructs. This revolution highlights the potential to upgrade humanity’s place, and responsibilities, in the world more than any event in history.
In the unprecedented times like Covid-19 pandemic, people should learn to swift their conventional organizational behaviors, and how it affects employees’ ability to succeed in planning for workforce capabilities. Although technology could help us a lot, most found difficulties while dealing with new skills and could not apply new technology into the current job nature to get the full potential. Old generation tends to stay in the old process and old business practices without knowing the convenience of future technology. This article will highlight on creating a future-ready workplace as to how companies can lead and prepare employees for tomorrow.
What if Robots replace our roles?
The anxiety caused by the future workforce is that AI will dominate humanity and the whole human workforce will be replaced by robots. The answer could be no for our lifetime. Maybe it could become true for generation alpha or beta. Then should we abandon the thought to be adaptable for the fourth industrial revolution? Although AI could not bang down all the office seats, the revolution is coming with its tremendous self-pace to our sights. People's roles in the workplaces won't be swayed by robots, but our duties and responsibilities are changing in many ways. In that case, what is the basic mind set to adopt the future skills for workforce readiness? The answer is simple. If most can bear the lifelong learning mindset throughout their career journey, they already achieved the first step to survive in the fourth industrial revolution.
Why is the Collaboration between the Old and Young Generation vital?
To embrace a digital future, the executive levels of business are in a crucial role to rethink the shape of our workforces. But to form a movement in transforming and responding to the arrival of new technologies, youth should carry out the basic tasks to overcome the burden of conventional and outdated technology. When it comes to technology, most of the older generation believes that youth are only the one who can deal with the latest technology and elders feel embarrassment and hesitation to test the new one.
To overcome this problem and narrow the gap between younger and older generations, youth should negotiate well with their superiors and be ready for future workforces for a digital economy. To achieve so much training and education is required to raise the awareness of the youth perspective on future workforce. If youth initiate, implement and adapt to the changes to reform the industry, it can affect the greater and larger change as the future crucially depends on youth. After the global pandemic of Covid-19, a new digital process becomes well known and rebuilds various industries into faster-paced one than before. That pandemic situation seems to alert the older generation about the importance of technology and now they have changed their perspective and try to keep pace with the technology. In the current situation, youth should take this one as an opportunity and introduce new software and technologies to the older generation with an effective negotiation skill. Youths have to articulate the clear focus and importance of a new approach as one goal.
Even tech savvy youth found themselves stuck in the midst of emerging AI, IOT and robotic transformation. It is also quite challenging for youth to initiate the changes as our seniors got used to old processes and most of the youth give up the chances and seek the opportunities in some other work environments where only comprised of younger fellows. If we do so, oldies will fall behind in growth of technology. To overcome this problem, we should find solutions to teach, adjust with non-tech savvy generations, and learn the new skills, efficiency, and adaptability for ourselves to fit into the 4IR. As the improvement of skills is not uniform around the world, youth should join in more collaborative events with ones who are ahead of technology like first-world countries. Youth should navigate, design and rethink to embrace the digital future.
In the year 2000, just under 13 percent of Americans sixty-five and over reported being employed full- or part-time. By May 2016, that figure had jumped to 18.8 percent—meaning that nearly nine million Americans sixty-five-plus were gainfully employed. Over the next five years, that number is expected to increase to 32 percent. From that data, to prolong their working ability, old generations should also open their eyes to invest in themselves to redefine success in the technology era and be flexible to collaborate with the young generation, be more open minded to learn from youth and, utilize their human resources in the 4IR. Senior citizens should start taking notes and keep busy learning new tech skills, so they can work longer and enjoy contributing tomorrow.
How should executives take account of new technology in their workforce?
According to McKinsey data, it is quite obvious that Covid-19 crisis shifted the conventional way of market to the digital way dramatically compared to prior years. If enterprises fail or hesitate to invest in the digital tools and soft skills which are essential for digital skills, their business could fall behind in such an accelerated digitalization era. Proactive decisions of executives could help their fellows and workforce to stimulate the business by obsoleting traditional strategy. Creating tech implemented work environments, inviting industrial leaders and introducing digital transformations in respective sectors would also sharpen the employees’ vision on future workforce.
What could we gain from Work From Home?
Furthermore, the work from home feature is quite common for most industries these days, youth should also prepare for having a dual career with their best efforts in work from home time. Our working patterns shifted from office to anywhere with good internet, from fixed working hours to working whenever we feel productive. What we could get the most out of this movement is working freelance and the main job without any unwanted interference. To be able to perform those kinds of jobs, everybody should be well prepared for remote working by using technology efficiently. By that way, we could handle multiple tasks and boost up our revenues in the age of agility and adaptation.
The rise of Unicorns in Southeast Asia
Moreover, the increased digitalization of the economy in response to COVID-19 has also driven the rise of unicorn startups in the Southeast Asia region. The founder positions of most unicorns are dominated by Generation Y and Z. From that figure, we could conclude that more and more youngsters invest their time to make breakthroughs in each region in accordance with the explosive growth of the digital economy. To effectively experience a boom in the Southeast Asia technology sector, this is the right time for youth to explore new skills and lead market trends.
Source: Deal Street Asia - Southeast Asia’s Unicorn Timeline
Currently, 5 countries namely, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand could be able to make their way up to Southeast Asia unicorn’s club and emerging internet users in the region also fostering the rise of startups in 4IR. Industrial experts predicted that many unicorns could rise from Southeast Asia in upcoming years. Those assumptions could be the strong proof that 4IR and future workforce seems to gain a strong foothold even in third world countries and everyone in the current workforce should grow a resilience mindset and adaptability skills to redesign our ways of working.
How to survive in The Fourth Industrial Revolution?
The revolution is a long journey. That's why we should tolerate and keep pace with booming technology around the globe to successfully adopt the new tech skills to survive in 4IR. Lifelong learning, investing both time and money for hi-tech, and readiness for the future of jobs could mitigate the risks of unemployment in the post Covid era. Most of all, the effective way to survive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the proactive actions of enterprises, the collaboration of young and old generations, and lastly, we all must be brave enough to catch up with the latest digital transformation. To do so, today is the right time for you to launch the learning and be ready to be ahead of your fellows.