Ep 80 Top 8 Future of Work Predictions for 2024

blog Dec 06, 2023

In episode 80, we kick off the month with the top eight future of work predictions for 2024, so that you can prepare for the year ahead.

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You're listening to the remote work retirement show. I'm your host, Camille Attell. And this is the only show that helps semi-retirees figure out the remote work options. I believe that remote work is the new retirement plan and that many retirees have both the ability and desire to work, how they want so they can live how they want. Let's dig into today's episode.

Hello, and welcome to a fresh month of podcast episodes.

It's December 2023. And this is a very special month because it is the two-year anniversary of this podcast. That's right. The remote work retirement show is two years old, young. However, you want to call it. And I want to give you a little bit of a backstory, so you have some context and then we'll jump into the topic this month. A little over two years ago in the spring and summer of 2021. A former member of remote work school named a sir, Isaac Smith encouraged me to start the show. Now I met Isaac in remote work school.

That's my online coaching and training program. And he's been on this show a few times. So, you might've heard his story before, if you haven't. I want to give you the bullet points. So, he found me through another podcast where I had been interviewed. He joined my program, and he shared his work history, which included his work in radio. And was a bus driver, but the idea that he could do remote work seemed very foreign to him at the time. Now through remote work school, he rediscovered his skills and he realized that he could use his skills from radio and transfer them into podcast production. Today.

He runs a podcast production company with his wife, Emily, and is among producing podcasts for people. They do a lot of other things because they know that remote work isn't just one source of income. It really is a variety of income and that's not just remote work. That's just work in general these days.

That is something I will be talking about on today's episode. So, I want to give a big shout out to Isaac and Emily for encouraging me to start the show we took the time felt like a pretty big undertaking. But hey, here I am today. And I'm going to talk more about this later this month because Isaac will be coming back on the show at the end of this month to talk about what it's been like for both of us to work on this show, to work in the world of remote work and just share stories and ideas, et cetera.

So, join me later this month when Isaac will be a special guest, once again. Now, when I started the show two years ago, I kicked it off in December. Just like I'm doing today. And again, that was back in 2021 and I started with workforce predictions. And then in 2022, I did it again and talked about workforce predictions for 2023. So now it seems like a tradition. I'm going to keep the tradition alive by talking about the 2024 predictions, but I'm going to change it from workforce to calling it the future of work. Because the future of work is a phrase that people use a lot.

And so, I'm going to, we're going to stay consistent with what other people call this so that if you do your research, you notice search on the phrase future of work. Now, before I dig into the list, I want to tell you what this list actually consists of. It includes my own original thoughts and ideas.

I always like to start with that because I work in the space. Of remote work and hybrid work. And workplace and workforce development. And I see things and I like to talk about things that I see. And trends that are emerging. So, I use my own original thoughts, but then I always combine them with research.

And so, the research that I've done includes attending a future of work panel in person, by the way, not even virtually. In-person on campus at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. That was in November of 2023, as well as many other articles. But the one that I think represents what is most closely aligned with my own research and thoughts would be from forbes.com in October of 2023. October 17th, actually of 2023. And I'll put the link to that in the show notes in case you want to read that.

So, I want to give you the list in order first, and then I'll go through it again and talk about each one of these in more depth. But I want to take a step back before I do and tell you that I think that the big theme that emerges for me when I go through the list is one word. And that is transformation.

If it were two words, I would say massive transformation. I think 2024 will be a year of massive transformation, unlike anything we've seen in the last 10, maybe even 20 years. There is so much change afoot that it was really hard to boil this down into eight. I guess I could call them predictions, but we can call them trends or themes.

It doesn't, it doesn't really matter what word you use. But it was really hard because there were so many things happening. But it was hard for me to get it into a simple list. And I really liked simple lists because it's just easier for you to listen to or read. So, the way I'll do it is I'll give you the big topic. And then I'm going to put little mini topics in it so that I don't miss anything. And there are eight of these predictions or trends. And what I don't want to do is bury the lead. And what I've done in the past is I've sort of built up to the big, the big reveal at the end. And I'm not going to do that because you know, as well as I that number one on the list is AI.

It's artificial intelligence. It is by far the biggest, most transformative change that we're going to see. We've been seeing it. And I'm going to come back and talk about this and why this is number one. And why it then sets up all the other things that I'm going to talk about on the list. Number two will be the impact on jobs because of AI. By the way, number three will be up-skilling or re-skilling because of AI. You can also, it's like a fortune cookie, you could just put because of AI at the end of it. Right. I mean, really this is this, it all kind of links back.

Number four is sustainability. Number five will be remote work. However, the new phrase for this is called workforce ecosystem. Number six will be the impact on workplace culture. Number seven will be employee wellbeing and number eight will be multiple sources of income. So those are the topics today that we'll be covering.

I'm going to go through them at a high level. And then what I'll do is for the remainder of the month, each episode, I'll tackle one or maybe two of these and go a little more in-depth so that you can walk away with more action items. But today it's really about setting the stage so that you understand at a high level what, these predictions or trends will be.

I also want to say that they're all probably not going to happen in 2024. Some of them are already happening or have been happening. So, they'll just be a continuation. Some of them will be new, but they will reshape the workforce and the workplace for many years to come. So again, hard to boil this down into a neat little list that is only applicable for one year. But, hey, you got to start somewhere.

All right. So, let's get into AI, artificial intelligence. If you've been listening to the show or following me for any length of time, you know, I've been talking about this all year, but if you want some specific episodes, just go back to the summer of 2023 in the fall of 2023. Really. I mean, I really started ramping this up mid-year, even though I started talking about it as early as January of 2023. I really think I pivoted hard into the topic because it really impacted me and my business and all. I will spend a whole episode talking about that later this month because it's important. And, specifically, when I talk about AI artificial intelligence, it's generative artificial intelligence that is having the biggest impact.

So, this is going to be original written content, audio, content, video, content, image, content, using just a few prompts. And I don't have time to explain all of that today. So again, you could go back and listen to any number of my podcast titles. Just go through and scroll and just pick one of them and you'll get more in-depth on this topic. So, I mentioned that I attended a future of work panel at USC. One of the people on that panel is named Paul Orlando. He runs the USC business incubator. And he mentioned that AI is now a required part of the curriculum. And it wasn't just a year ago, which is wild to me. And so now the students that are in his incubator, where they learn about business and how to apply different skill sets to business and entrepreneurship. They can't even do the program without having to learn AI.

It's not an option. It's not like some sort of add-on class they might want to take. It's just part of the program now, which is so interesting. Also related to AI I'm starting to see it listed as a requirement in many, many jobs. And this is why it's so important for you to not turn away from this too. To not reject AI. And people have been doing that all year. Although, although I'm starting to see people come around. Now where they've gone through the change curve of you know, maybe their arms were folded and they were saying, no, I'm never going to learn. That it's just too much of a threat to, well, I guess I should know about it too. Maybe I should learn a few things too now. People are joining my programs and saying, I guess I need to learn this. And so that's good. I think that people are starting to fear it less and adopt it more and recognize that there are a lot of benefits.

So, I just want to put a bow on it and say that it's unavoidable, it's listed in jobs. Employers are looking for it. It must be on your resume somewhere. It must be on your LinkedIn somewhere. And if you're not on LinkedIn, you really need to be. And this leads to the second item on our list today. And that is the impact on jobs because AI is reshaping so much. It really goes without saying that it will impact many different job types. And what I mean by this is a little bit different than what I said in item number one. In that one, I talked about how we're seeing AI, artificial intelligence, listed as a job requirement for certain jobs. In number two, what I'm talking about is AI actually replacing jobs. And this is definitely something that people have been concerned about for a while now.

And there are specific types of jobs. That will be replaced by AI. And I want to give you an example of just some of those job types. For example, instead of having a human customer service representative, we'll start to see things like AI chatbots and automated response systems. You're probably already seeing that now, but you just may not know that that's what you're interacting with. Other jobs where you have repetitive tasks, like data entry, data entry clerks, and people who enter things into spreadsheets or use different forms.

We'll probably see those jobs go away. Even things like retail workers, specifically for people who manage inventory. You'll see more automated checkout processes, just like you might see. Now, there are some grocery stores where you don't see clerks anymore. You can just check it out yourself. But even things like bank tellers and clerks, because again, those are routine tasks. And some of those tasks can be done by AI or different chatbots.

And the list goes on and on. One of the jobs we saw early in, in the AI, I guess I'll call it life cycle, that was impacted specifically by ChatGPT, were writers and content creators, copywriters copy editors. Because the first thing people did with chatGPT was write things. And so, we know that those jobs are already going away and we're just going to see more and more of that.

And the list goes on and on. You know, healthcare will be impacted. Legal will be impacted. Even human resources will be impacted. But just because jobs will go away. That doesn't mean it's all bad. Also, jobs will be created. For example, in June of 2023, the World Economic Forum did research and they concluded that AI would likely take away 85 million jobs globally by 2025. However, here's the good news. It also forecasts the creation of 97 million new jobs in various fields. Like big data machine learning, information security, and digital marketing. Which means there will actually be more jobs added than jobs taken away. The problem, and what seems to be scary for most people is that doesn't mean your job will stick around.

And that's why it is so important to upskill re-skill and learn more about AI while you can. What I see as one of the biggest opportunities for people right now is to learn enough AI so that you can become something like an AI adoption specialist. Or an AI implementer. So, this would be something like someone who helps a business adopt technology, like a technology specialist, et cetera, it's like that. But instead, you're focused specifically on helping businesses and companies adopt AI because it's not the easiest thing to do. AI itself is easy, but I can share that as a small business owner, one of the hardest things about it is just finding the time to adopt it fast enough because it changes so quickly.

Now I will come back for a future episode, and I'll talk about how we've been able to adopt AI into my business. And how it's having a tremendous impact, positive impact on the business. However, if I could hire an AI specialist to help me, oh, my gosh, it would go even further. But right now, there's a talent shortage.

There are just not enough people who know this stuff. So that is a hot tip for you to really start teaching yourself. Or joining a program like mine, where you can learn this stuff so that you can then be a partner to different businesses. Hey, how about a quick break so we can hear from our sponsor, Remote Work School?

Well, that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Well, it should, because Remote Work School is my online coaching program. Along with self-study in Remote Work School, you get direct access to me and my staff along with many of your peers inside of a small group coaching program. In it, we update your remote work resume. We make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and optimized. And if you want to start a new business, we help you with business plans and so much more. If you're interested, click the link in the show notes where you can sign up for the free training. Now let's get back to the episode.

So again, number two is impacted jobs. But that leads me to item number three, which is upskilling and reskilling because of all of this. And so, again, if you can just stay one step ahead or two steps ahead of where AI is headed, and keep re-skilling and up-skilling yourself so that you can learn and adopt AI. You're going to do just fine. Because again, some of these jobs may be impacted, if you know how to use AI, you will always be a more sought-after candidate than the person next to you who maybe decided they didn't want to learn AI or didn't think it was important or thought, you know, it's going to ruin the world, so they're not going to learn it.

Now, here is a stat that I thought was really interesting. This comes from a man named Josh Lugana. He is a consultant with Deloitte, and he said that the research that they're doing has shown that 65% of elementary school students will be doing jobs that we don't even know exist yet. And that's a combination of AI and technology and how the workforce is getting reshaped today. And so if we just take a small percentage of that number and recognize that jobs will be reshaped and change over the next 1, 3, 5, and 10 years then just do enough to stay ahead of that.

Okay. Number four is sustainability. And this one I heard for the first time by a woman named Ellen Ducks. She runs the USC sustainability program. And she and other people are doing research around the topic of sustainability. They are looking at how to be sustainable in environmentally responsible ways, socially equitable ways, and economically both in the short term and in the long term. Specifically, they're looking at how do we implement sustainable practices that are good for the health of our planet. Good for our bodies, and good for society, but still makes good business sense.

So, this could range from things like reducing carbon footprint by not having so many things being shipped, to maybe switching from physical products to digital products. This is looking at things like renewable energy. But it could also include things like fair labor practices, and doing more for the community, especially the immediate community. It also includes things like diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Which was on my list, list for 2021, 2022, and 2023 now that I think about it. And so, there's a big push in many different sectors around sustainability. And so, this is one of the reasons why I think when you read headlines that remote work is going away.

I know that's like a big headline, but it's not true. Research shows that we are flat on remote work, meaning we are at a stabilization of remote work. We're not gaining more remote jobs, but we're also not losing remote jobs. But one of the reasons why I think the pendulum will swing back towards more remote work in the future is because of this big push on sustainability. You, really have to look at the correlation between sustainability and how we make the environment safer and how we make workplaces more sustainable.

Well, one of the most obvious ways is more remote work. So more on that later. That was number four. Number five goes without saying. More remote hybrid and distributed workforce. Now you might think, well, didn't you just say that it's kind of flatlined? Yes, but it's, it's getting reshaped. So, what do I mean by this? There's a new term emerging called workforce ecosystems. You're going to start seeing this. You've been seeing the words remote work for a while or the phrase remote work. You've probably seen work from home. You've seen hybrid work. You might've even seen distributed teams, which means people who work in different locations. But there's this new one you're going to start to see, and it's called the workforce ecosystem. And this again comes from Josh Lugana from Deloitte.

And what he talked about is we have to start thinking about the workforce as an ecosystem that's made up of full-time employees, part-time employees, contractors, people who work overseas. Folks who do gig work, freelancers, et cetera. So again, that to me just sounds like more remote work. I actually saw that in one of the places I worked a number of years ago, where we were starting to see more contractors work in this one department than full-time employees. And so, I think that we're starting to see this really eclectic mix of people and jobs and roles.

And I think that's going to have a really big impact on how remote work happens, where it happens when it happens, what countries it happens in. Which then brings me to number six on our list, which is workplace culture. I don't know if you're noticing a pattern here, but like number one, influences number two, influences number three, and so on. So, if we're starting to see this thing called workforce ecosystem, I think the next obvious trend here is going to be workplace culture. Do you remember workplace culture? I think this became a really hot thing in the nineties. I remember the first quote, unquote, a real job I had in the nineties. We had a very strong workplace culture, which meant we put up very motivational sayings on the walls. Teamwork makes the dream work. And then various companies I've worked in since then have had different workplace cultures with like a mission statement and vision and values.

Well, workplace culture gets harder and harder to actually create when everybody is either working remotely, working in a workforce ecosystem, or getting impacted and replaced by artificial intelligence. Because if you have people who are sometimes full-time, part-time, contractors, gig workers, and freelancers, it’s going to be really difficult to create a workplace culture where everyone is rowing together. And I think that means it's going to be pretty hard for middle and upper management to retain power.

And here's how I think artificial intelligence will truly impact the workplace culture. Remember the days when you would get up from your desk and walk over to your coworker's desk because you got stuck and needed help, and they could help you? Well, when you work remotely, you can't do that. But guess what, what if there was an AI who could help you at any time? You didn't have to wait for the AI to get off the phone. You didn't need to hope the AI was available or have the knowledge you needed. No, you just go to your AI and you say I'm stuck on X. What steps do you have to help me move forward? And this scenario isn't even the future, it's today right now. In fact, just yesterday, I built three different chatbots. One of them was a chatbot modeled after my own teaching style so that if someone gets stuck on something, they can interact with my chatbot and not have to wait for me to email them or get back to them. The second one was a chatbot to help our blogging contractor write descriptions for our blog posts. And the third one was just a fun one that I can't even share because it really does belong to one of the members inside of our AI skillet.

Okay. So that was number six. We've got two more left on the list. Number seven, this one's huge. And that is employee wellbeing. This has been impacted for a long time. The COVID era really drove this up because people were forced into remote work sooner than they were ready. So, we saw a lot of isolation, loneliness, and impacts on mental health. And now that we're starting to, I guess, get normalized. I think what we're seeing more of is that companies are putting more emphasis on now, how we address mental health for our employees. How do we create workplaces where people feel safe?

How do we provide programs to help people not feel isolated and lonely when they do remote work or hybrid work? Because, well, I think there are a lot of benefits to remote work. A lot of positives. I think one of the biggest negatives is the impact on mental health. I've experienced it. And I know many other people who have experienced it. And so more has to be done so that we can make sure that these two things work well together.

Number eight on the list has been on the list for two years. And that is people generating multiple sources of income. Doesn't matter if that's through remote work or hybrid work or having a side hustle. They call it an income stream on the side. I still think this is really important. I've seen more and more of this, and I've actually seen more companies and employers be open to employees having the time to actually go explore and come up with ideas or come up with side hustles as long as it doesn't impact the work you're doing for that employer. No, not every employer is embracing that. It really depends on the company.

We've seen people get fired for doing that, but then we've seen other companies embrace it. So here is my tip for you. It's a good idea if you're not already thinking about this to at least think about what you can do for a side income. And maybe you do it on the weekends, or maybe you do it at night if you're working full-time today. But I believe this is no longer optional. Because again, the workplace is getting radically reshaped. AI will impact jobs or displace workers. That will happen. I don't know if it'll happen to you. I'm not trying to be scary. I'm just trying to be pragmatic. That's what I do.

So, to get started on that. I have a couple of options for you. Again, I have a lot of topics on the Remote Work Retirement Show, the podcast you're listening to right now. I've got many episodes that talk about doing something on the side or starting a side business, or even turning a hobby into a side income. But you can also go ask chatGPT or any of the other AI tools that are out there. How do I get started with earning income on the side? Can I start a side business? How do I turn my hobby into a business?

And the last thing I'll offer you is you can always join my programs, Remote Work School. We talk about this stuff and I do have the AI Skillet, which I will be relaunching again in early 2024.


That's the list for 2024. Let me go over all the items again. Number one is AI specifically generative AI. Number two will be the impact on jobs because of AI. Number three, we'll be up-skilling and re-skilling so that you can stay current. Number four, it will be sustainability. Number five is still remote and hybrid work, but we're going to see a change in the phrasing and it'll be called workforce ecosystem.

Number six will be workplace culture. Number seven will be employee wellbeing and number eight will be multiple sources of income. Now I mentioned in the beginning that really, this all represents a massive transformation. And what's interesting about transformation? If you've ever been through it before, whether it be a personal transformation, work transformation, et cetera, is that it's hard to see it when you're in it. Right when you're in the cocoon changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly, you're not aware of that process.

And so this is really similar. We are literally in the middle of the transformation, and you may not be able to see it or recognize it. But I'm telling you it's happening and it's happened already this year and it'll happen way more next year in 2024. And so, I mentioned this to my husband and he said, you know, it's interesting. It's kind of like the clarity that you get when you look at history. Later, when you look back and you reflect and you say, oh, wow, that was a real historical event. But you don't know it when you're in it. And I think that’s what's going to happen when we look back on all of the changes from 2023, 2024, 2025.

When we look back on these years, we're going to say, wow, those were some massive transformation years that completely reshaped how we work. And so I just want to put a pin in that thought for you because later in the month, in the next episodes, I'm going to talk about how do you then change with these changing times. Because it's really, really important, even if you're retired. Even if you're thinking about, well, I'm gonna retire in the next couple of years. It doesn't matter. At least some of those you're going to have to adopt. And you're going to have to learn enough to keep up. All right. I hope you found this list. Helpful. Join me next week, where we will dig deeper.

If you're looking to get back into the workforce, change jobs, work remotely, or learn artificial intelligence, check out my free remote work training so you can get ahead of the trends and stay ahead of the pack. Click the link in the show notes or go to www.camilleattell.com and press the free training button.

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