In 2023, 5.16 billion people, 64% of the global population, have access to the Internet. Over the past two decades, the Internet revolutionized the way consumers find information, communicate, shop, get entertained, access financial services, commute, and perform almost every task of their daily lives. This gave birth to new consumer facing industry giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Uber.

The same revolution is happening in the work environment, with an impact that will dwarf that of the consumer’s market.

Compounding technology advances

Cloud computing, Software-as-a-Service, and mobile have been bringing increased flexibility, speed, and data-driven decisions to the enterprise since the early 2010’s. New ways of building and delivering software, more user-friendly tools, and increased reliance on data satisfy companies’ thirst for collaboration, communication, and access and sharing of business information. This wave of technology continues to force businesses to change the way they operate and support their employees in order to innovate and remain competitive.

<aside> 💻 $132B : SaaS market size by 2020


<aside> 📶 89% : Of employees use mobile devices to connect to corporate network


More importantly, ongoing maturation of the Artificial Intelligence stack (data storage, compute, software—Natural Language Processing, Voice Recognition, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Computer Vision—, and hardware—sensors and actuators—) will keep fundamentally reshaping the state of work. As much as 56% of current office and manual tasks, equivalent to $14.6 trillion in wages worldwide, can be automated using currently demonstrated technologies. These changes will happen at a steady pace at a macro-level but could happen very fast for other tasks.

Because computer processing grows following a power law, and not linearly, it’s hard for humans to grasp how fast it evolves. Computer processing power today is 1,024 faster that 10 years ago (2008); 32,768 times faster than 15 years ago (2013); 1,048,576 faster than 20 years ago (1998).

Processing power is expected to keep doubling every year until 2025. This trend, compounded with rapid advances in other quickly advancing technologies will make AI and automation accelerate at an ever accelerating pace. As a consequence, jobs will be enhanced, displaced, and created at an increasing rate as automation takes over the workplace.

With automation, the nature of work too will change. Humans will get a chance to focus on what they are particularly good at and on tasks that humans demand other humans to handle.

With automation, the nature of work too will change. Humans will get a chance to focus on what they are particularly good at and on tasks that humans demand other humans to handle: “work” will become more meaningful as workers are left to perform jobs requiring more empathy, decision making, creativity, craftsmanship, and relationship building interaction.

Borderless employment

In parallel to this technological shift, the ties between workers and corporations are changing. Companies and workers alike are increasingly looking for more flexibility.

With digitization, employment is borderless. Employers are no longer limited to regional talent pools and workers are no longer bound by local job opportunities. Companies are leveraging “Contingent Workforces” —non-payroll personnel including intermittent and seasonal employees, consultants, freelancers, and part-timers— in order to improve overall talent and cost efficiency. Businesses prefer these arrangements because they can shed expensive benefit packages and are not responsible for following federal labor laws.

A new generation of workers is also entering the workplace, bringing new ways of working and a new expectations. Millennials will represent 75% of the workforce by 2025. The generation that grew up with computers at their fingertips expects to find quality tools at work. They will keep pushing for more meaning, collaboration, and flexibility at work.

<aside> 👩🏽‍💼 36% : Of the US workforce engaged in some non-full-time-work in 2022


<aside> 💰 $1.4T : Contribution of non-full-time work to the US economy


In 2017, 36% of the US workforce (57.3m Americans) and 47% of the 18 to 34 age group (up from 38% in 2014) engaged in some non-full-time work, contributing $1.4 trillion to the US economy or about 7.5% of US GDP. 50% of company workforces will be made up of non-full-time employees by 2020.

This shift will push corporations, governments, and workers to rethink the tools and services needed to support a more volatile, less predictable way of working: marketplaces for on demand work, benefits, financial services, lifelong learning, workspace, ways to monetize underutilized time, skills, and assets, etc.

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