New jobs are emerging

It is estimated that 97 million more jobs will emerge to adapt to the new division of labour.

According to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs report by 2025, 44 percent of the skills required for individuals to do their jobs effectively will have changed. Redundant positions will fall from 15.4 percent to nine percent of the workforce by 2025, while emerging professions will increase from 7.8 percent to 13.5 percent.

Based on these figures, the report estimates that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift of the division of labour between humans and machines, while 97 million more jobs will emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms.

The subject of job creation in South Africa has never been more critical or relevant, according to Brent Haumann, managing director at Striata Africa.

“From my perspective there seem to be two major contributing factors. The first is obviously the lack of growth (and partial contraction) in the economy, with an expanding working class population entering the market. The second is the brain-drain of skills pouring out of the country to regions that seemingly promise a brighter future for education, pension funds and security,” he says.

“In the case of the latter, you’d expect this to open up positions, but without qualified people to fill these roles, it ultimately exacerbates our economic issues looping back to point one,” he adds.

Though there is no silver bullet approach to solving these problems, hyper-growth is seen in the digital customer experience space, and the world’s insatiable need for customer experience professionals offer hope.

Chief hybrid officer
The adoption of hybrid work models is well underway across industries as more companies seek to offer employees the best of both – the flexibility of working from home and the creative, collaborative environment the office provides.

“This new way of working necessitates the development of a new role, that of chief hybrid officer, to manage the relationship between the workforce and the workspace. The name of the position is irrelevant – it could be head of hybrid or even people officer – but its function is crucial,” says David Seinker, founder and CEO, The Business Exchange.

The hybrid officer’s role is one that requires an open mind first and foremost, and an understanding that the ways of the traditional office can’t simply be replicated for the hybrid environment. David believes that it’s a role that requires an empathetic approach, because hybrid work is the manifestation of a model that acknowledges that productivity and performance have little to do with place.

“The hybrid officer is a great communicator, a natural facilitator and an excellent host. The role is one that combines the skills of people management with the expertise typically found in hospitality professionals, as the workplace continues to evolve into a space for networking, brainstorming and connecting – thus creating a very pleasant place to be – rather than the mere location where work is done,” he adds.

Data experts
According to Reagen Kok, CEO of Hoorah Digital, in order for organisations to effectively leverage and apply data to drive business objectives, that data still needs to be ordered, understood and managed.

“This is where the role of data experts comes into play. Positions that involve data management, in its various forms, are not new per se, but they are becoming ever more pervasive as we rely on data to help drive progress, development and innovation,” he says.

Reagan adds, “Data experts are critical thinkers, adept at problem solving and obsessed with detail. The consummate data expert of the future is part analyst, part statistician and wholly human.”

Workplaces are changing. New job functions are emerging, and organisations must accept them. However, new job roles involve the creation of new skills, and businesses must take the lead in assisting their employees in developing these new skills.