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As 2017 draws to a close, LinkedIn asked experts in a range of fields to share the ideas that will make the biggest impact in 2018.
Some of the greatest insights had to do with the future of the workplace.
CEOs, professors, and entrepreneurs weighed in with predictions about everything from open offices to corporate diversity.
Read on to find out how these experts think work will change for most people in the next 12 months.
James Manyika, chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute, says you probably won’t lose your job — but it will change
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Manyika says jobs will fall into one of three buckets: lost (e.g. cashiers), gained (e.g. robot repairers), and changed (everyone else). According to a McKinsey report, up to one-third of the American workforce may have to learn new skills and change occupations by 2030.
Jobcase CEO and founder Fred Goff told Business Insider’s Aine Cain that blue-collar workers shouldn’t worry too much about the coming of the robots. That’s because there will likely be new jobs that we haven’t even thought of yet.
Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, says we’ll start paying more attention to technology’s effects on our daily lives
“We’re at an inflection point,” she told LinkedIn.
Huffington said something similar in an article for NBC News: “[W]hat we need is to re-calibrate our relationship our technology. This is one of the most important conversations of our time. … Importantly, our ability to have this conversation won’t last forever. The rise of AI, and the increasing hyper-connectivity of our daily lives, has the potential to erode our humanity even further.”
Some experts in the fields of mental health and psychology have already started making some noise around this issue. For example, Business Insider’s Chris Weller spoke to Adam Alter, an NYU psychology professor and the author of the new book, “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” about our addiction to technology.
Alter says people who work at technology companies are literally responsible for creating products that people can’t resist – but simply being aware of a product’s irresistible design is the first step to fighting the addiction.
Wharton professor Adam Grant says artificial intelligence will help us with creative projects
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Think speeches you’ve given or articles you’ve written. What made them great – and how can you replicate the success?
“A.I. is going to help us learn from our own successful routines,” Grant said, adding that he’s already set up a database with all his work so the technology can start analyzing.
A less-fancy version of this technology is already available in speech-coaching apps such as Ummo. As Business Insider’s Nathan McAlone reported, Ummo tracks your speech so you know which phrases you overuse and learn how to pace yourself.
Grant also predicted that companies will start adding CLOs – chief learning officers – who will help workers prepare should they have to switch jobs.
Grant said: “If you don’t think it’s strategic to have a function that comes right down from the C-suite – to think how do we retrain, and how do we reskill? – then you’re going to be missing out on a really high-qualified workforce to do jobs that don’t exist today.”
Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of investing platform Ellevest, said companies will start paying managers for hitting diversity goals
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Krawcheck said: “Diversity actually outperforms meritocracy; the research is clear.”
Indeed, Business Insider’s Lindsay Dodgson reported that companies with more diverse leadership tend to perform better. Many tech companies are still dominated by a white, male population – though they say they’re taking steps to remedy the problem.
David Lathrop, director of applied research for office furniture company SteelCase, says companies will transform their open offices
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“Instead of having a workstation or office assigned to me, the entire office is mine,” Lathrop said. “It’s designed as a playground that I can execute my own interests and desires.”
Lathrop also predicted that companies and office designers would add more “respite zones” and quiet areas conducive to deep thinking.
Business Insider has previously reported that more companies in North America are adopting an open-office plan – and their current design may be hurting productivity. One way to survive, until Lathrop’s predictions come true? Get a pair of noise-canceling headphones and/or try working from a local coffee shop.
‘Shark Tank’ investor Daymond John says employees will focus more on learning new skills as jobs continue to evolve
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Too many workers think new skills will “magically come to their cubicle,” John said. “It’s not going to happen.”
Looking to get a head start? Consider enrolling in one of these online courses that will help you advance in your career, focusing on topics from negotiation to public speaking.
Laszlo Bock, former head of people operations at Google, says gig-economy workers may get paid less
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“The gig economy is going to get increasingly brutal,” said Bock, who is now the CEO of Humu. “These companies” – think Uber and Airbnb – “are going to need to make a profit, and that’s got to have to come from somewhere.”
But if you believe Bock, all that could change pretty quickly.