What Shifting Demographics Mean for The Future of Work

The disruptive force of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused existing trends to accelerate, and one of the biggest changes has been the transformation of workplace demographics. For workers, here’s what to expect in the coming years, and how to navigate the ongoing shifts.  

Prepare for skill scarcity 
The most significant workforce transformation since World War II has created a global talent shortage that is expected to result in 85 million unfilled roles by 2030, according to a new Korn Ferry report. Technical ability and human skills like creativity, collaboration and leadership will continue to grow in demand while admin, hospitality, and legal/business support jobs will decline. To prepare, workers can look to both reskill as well as add and refine the list of soft skills that will continue to be in demand. 

Polarization and the need to speak out
Increasing social tension and greater recognition of inequity, especially with regards to race, will call for more transparency from organizations around human capital, diversity and inclusion initiatives as key to recovery and growth. Increasingly, employees and customers are demanding that companies take an official stand on social justice, climate change and other critical global issues. Just as customers can support companies that align with their values, employees can choose to bring their talents to organizations that take meaningful stands on relevant issues. 

Remote work goes mainstream 
Today, nearly half (43%) of workers think the Covid-19 crisis marks the end of every day in the workplace. Whether this is true or not, the on-demand workforce, hybrid work models and work untethered from physical offices are all on the rise. Reducing an organization’s overall real estate footprint, greater mobility and creating job opportunities beyond borders will drive both employee and employer preferences.​ For workers, that means job opportunities are no longer tied to a specific location with future prospects increasingly global-allowing them to adjust work and career advancement to better match work-life balance. 

The persistent gender gap
As women are disproportionately affected by both social and economic crises due to the pandemic, and over-represented in job losses across industries including retail, leisure and hospitality. At the same time, there is a clear opportunity for women to reskill and upskill in growth sectors including information technology, operations and logistics. They are an untapped talent pool that could be re-skilled or upskilled for many of the jobs of tomorrow. 

Many of the above trends aren’t new, but dramatic changes of the past year have only accelerated them as well as a need for action. Now instead of preparing for a far-off future, it’s time to start performing for the future that is here-and-now.  

Download ManpowerGroup's Top 21 Trends in 2021 Full Report or Infographic for more information on the major forces of demographic shifts, rise of individual choice, growing client sophistication, technological revolution as well as emerging trends shaping the workplace and workforce of the future.
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