- Over half of UK workers under 50 are uncertain about their job roles in the next two decades, in the face of rapid technological changes.
- Deskless workers, such as those in healthcare and engineering, feel left behind in technological conversations, highlighting a divide in the workforce.
- Despite apprehensions, many workers are optimistic about technology’s role in improving work-life balance and job productivity.
In a rapidly evolving digital world, the intersection of technology and the workforce is becoming increasingly complex. A recent study by Virgin Media O2 Business, partnering with renowned futurist Tracey Follows, delves into the intricacies of this relationship, exploring the concerns and aspirations of workers in the UK.
The Study’s Findings: A Mixed Bag of Emotions
The Virgin Media O2 Business’s study, encompassing a diverse range of sectors, reveals that 52% of UK workers are unsure about their future roles, indicating a significant uncertainty in the face of technological advancements. This sentiment is particularly pronounced among deskless workers, like nurses and engineers, who feel excluded from the digital transformation narrative.
The Digital Divide: Desk-Based vs. Deskless Workers
The study sheds light on a growing digital divide. While desk-based workers have largely benefitted from remote and hybrid work models, deskless workers have witnessed limited changes. The research indicates that 27% of these workers feel overwhelmed by the pace of technological progress, with specific concerns about the loss of control to automation and AI.
Optimism Amidst Uncertainty
Despite these challenges, there is a silver lining. A significant proportion of workers view technology as a catalyst for positive change. Around 36% are excited about the possibilities of emerging technologies, and 33% believe that these advancements could lead to a better work-life balance.
Tracey Follows’ Predictions: A Glimpse Into the Future
Tracey Follows, a globally recognized futurist, offers her insights based on the study’s findings. She predicts a shift in salary structures, the introduction of intelligent uniforms for frontline workers, and a rise in safety-focused roles due to increased automation.
The Role of Telecom Operators in the Future of Work
The study emphasizes the critical role of telecom operators in supporting both desk-based and deskless workers. As technology continues to permeate every aspect of work, robust connectivity becomes crucial, enabling access to IoT devices, AI software, and other essential technologies.
Closing Remarks: Balancing Technology and Human Workforce
Diego Tedesco, Director of Commercial, Product and Marketing at Virgin Media O2 Business, comments on the need for businesses to not only embrace technology but also prepare their workforce for these changes. He highlights the importance of connectivity in supporting diverse work environments and the potential of technology in transforming the way we work.
Methodology and About Tracey Follows
The article concludes with details about the research methodology and a brief profile of Tracey Follows, underscoring her expertise and contributions to the field of futurology.
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