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What will the Future of Work Be? Show more Show less
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The future of work is being shaped by two powerful forces: The growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, and the expansion of the workforce to include both on- and off-balance-sheet talent. What changes could be in store for the workplace, the workforce, and the nature of work itself?

The future of work will be more flexible Show more Show less

Traditional employment will be moving to more flexible arrangements, exemplified by Gig Working trends
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People of all generations are turning to freelance work

"The stereotype of today’s freelancer is a young, scrappy urbanite hustling for gigs in a shared workspace or coffee shop. And while it is true that millennials make up the largest chunk of the freelancer population in the United States, another demographic may soon catch up: their parents." - Charlotte Cowes, NYT

The Argument

The future of work will be more flexible because those seeking such flexibility span across various generations. From Generation Z to Millenials to Baby Boomers, a substantial percentage of people in every age group are looking to get into freelance and more non-traditional methods of work. Generation Z is often referred to as the most independent and unconventional generation yet. According to recent research, 62% of Gen Z would prefer to customize their own career path rather than have a corporation develop it for them.[1] An increasing number of young people are turning to freelance work and choosing non-traditional ways of working that they feel serve their desired lifestyle. Millennials make up the majority of the freelancer population, but another demographic is catching up.[2] Not only are young people fueling the gig economy, but older generations are progressively increasing their presence in freelance work. As of 2018, 30% of freelance workers in the United States were over the age of 55 and that number is expected to exponentially grow as “the silver wave” of baby boomers approaches the retirement age.[2] People over the age of 55 are starting to explore freelance, either full time or as a way to transition into retirement when they can’t or don’t want to stop working entirely. The future of work will be more flexible because people from all generations are moving towards non-traditional forms of employment.

Counter arguments

The future of work will not be more flexible because the overwhelming majority is sticking to traditional methods of work. For instance, in America, the 2019 workforce was 157 million Americans, of that 157 million only 57 million did some type of freelance work.[3] This means that the overwhelming majority worked conventional 9 to 5 jobs. This will always be the case. Furthermore, the reason freelance markets were continuing their gradual increase in recent years had to with the growing economy in worldwide markets. However, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to destroy global economies, the increasing stability and strength of the economy is no longer something freelancers can rely on.[4] For the immediate future, the amount of freelancers isn’t expected to reach its once predicted levels. The future of work will not be more flexible because the majority of workers are adhering to traditional and conventional jobs.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://insights.eventscouncil.org/Full-Article/introducing-generation-z
  2. https://search.proquest.com/docview/2288597003/E204B7AF2EB44647PQ/1?accountid=37603
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2019/10/05/full-time-freelancing-lures-more-americans/#533d84607259
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonyounger/2020/05/01/how-is-covid-19-impacting-freelance-rates-pricing-and-project-flow/#11f4d5957b71

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 02:30 UTC

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