Presented by Oxbridge Academy

The evolution of the world of work

The world of work – including the qualities valued in the workplace – is evolving faster than ever.

With developments in technology, the skills people learn can become obsolete within as little as 5 to 10 years.

Let’s take a look at how desired job skills have evolved, and how they will continue to evolve in future.

What was valued in the past?

The Three R’s:

  • Reading
  • WRiting
  • ARithmetic

The three R’s were seen as the signs of a good education.

Desirable employees were expected to have at least these basic skills to be successful at their jobs.

There was a mentality that employees were simply cogs in a large, money-making machine, rather than unique individuals.

In the more recent past, basic computer skills such as word processing and a grasp of the internet were highly prized. These skills are now expected rather than regarded as being of added value.

What is valued now?

  • Creativity– Finding creative solutions to problems and developing strategies to stay competitive.
  • Teamwork– Being able to work effectively within a specialised team.
  • Communication skills– Being able to communicate effectively with team members. In today’s business environment, combined brain power is needed to stay competitive.
  • Adaptability– Being able to develop new skills and to keep pace with the increasing speed of change in the workplace.
  • Knowledge of the latest technology– Recognising the huge power of technology and harnessing it effectively.

Employers now expect a set of “soft skills” to complement technical knowledge and expertise.

Soft skills include aspects of personal development, emotional intelligence, social skills, and attitudes. These skills are often the defining factors in securing a job.

What skills will be valued in the future?

The skills valued today are expected to become even more important in the future.

Increasing value will also be placed on skills such as:

  • Data analysis– Being able to understand big data and use it to improve aspects of your job.
  • New-media literacy– Being able to harness the power of emerging media forms.
  • Future-based thinking– Looking to the future and preparing for even faster change than what is being experienced today.
  • Social intelligence– Being able to connect with others. Social IQ will be one of the vital assets giving human workers an advantage over machines.

The workplace is changing fast, and modern workers have to continually evolve themselves to stay relevant and valuable.

Want to find out how you can keep up with ongoing changes in the workplace?

Read: How to Deal with Changing Expectations at Work

Also: Keep your skills up to date – consider upskilling yourself with online courses.

In today’s workplace, the only constant is change. To be successful, you need to adapt, otherwise you will be left behind.

This article was published in partnership with Oxbridge Academy.

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The evolution of the world of work