How work is evolving: six key trends for 2020

As we enter 2020, I'm passionate that Virgin will continue to put our people first and lead the way with our innovative and ahead-of-the-curve People policies. It’s more important than ever for businesses to recognise their people as human beings and not just as resources.

Virgin Stars 2019 - Holly and Richard

According to the 100% Human At Work network,  automation and artificial intelligence is changing the landscape of business faster than ever before and it’s important for businesses to understand the way their work environment will be affected.

The rapidly evolving landscape can present exciting possibilities such as greater flexibility, more tailored and people-focused work environments, increasingly socially conscious enterprises, enhanced efficiency and innovation. To help navigate these changes, the 100% Human At Work network have released a toolkit that looks at the future of work and how businesses can reimagine paths to employment.

100% Human - Pathways to employment toolkit

According to the report, here are six trends set to change the world of work in 2020: 

1. Mind the skills gap: new jobs will require new skills. It’s vital for businesses to look into re-training, upskilling and work with the education system to address the gaps.   

2. Don’t lose the human touch: Skills that differentiate human beings from machines, such as emotional intelligence, empathy, collaboration, advanced communication, leadership and problem solving, are set to become more important than ever. 

3. Increased fluidity: the notion of work is set to become more fluid and agile than ever with an emphasis of freelancing, gig work (think Uber and Deliveroo), crowdsourcing, remote working, shared workspaces and flexible hours. Embrace the flexibility – it’s a huge opportunity to put your people first.

Holly Branson and Virgin Money Giving team - 2019

4. Watch out for your rights: while new models of work (such as freelancing) are flexible and help people find their niche, it’s important that people’s rights are protected.

5. Increased risks to social equality: Changes such as automation and shifting skills requirements run the risk of increasing inequality and leaving people behind. Businesses have a huge role in creating a fair and fulfilling future for all, which doesn’t neglect large sections of society. 

6. Human Vs Machine: AI and automation is contentious business. Many organisations are looking to blend the best of both worlds by considering automation and AI for routine and repetitive tasks, while leaving the creative tasks that require skills such as problem solving, empathy and emotional intelligence up to humans.


Stars 2019 - Holly Sam and Richard

Is there anything you would add to the list? To learn more about the future of work, you can download the full toolkit here.

Find out more about the 100% Human At Work network and their efforts to create a better future of work with support from Virgin Unite and The B Team here

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