Work has been in constant transformation since it was invented and will not stop changing, because it is inherent to humanity and that, in itself, means evolution.
For centuries, children learned and inherited the trades of their parents, be it rural, union, industrial… Diversity came with technological advances and the take-off of academic and university training. The range of professions is ever-expanding, but within a certain stability framework in which the acquired knowledge enabled to work a lifetime and, in many cases, in the same company.
In the 21st century, the technological omens of the great change that haunted us may have materialized, but it took us by surprise because it erupted with speed- full speed, and the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating it massively.
There is a term that everyone has been repeating that has come with the pandemic to stay, but it is much more than a word. For many families, it has been one more member during the confinement, with which they have shared a table, a sofa and even the children’s own games: telework.
Three months ago, its penetration into the Spanish production system barely reached 4%. Today it is at 33%, and on average, because the pandemic has forced many conventional companies to put 100% of their structure to operate exclusively through the network.
Of course, not all jobs can be done remotely, but many can be adapted. Digitization leads to greater automation in factories and also in a large part of the service sector, so there is a profound redefinition of the professions and the need for training for people whose jobs are being carried out by machines.
According to El Correo, the World Economic Forum (WEF), warns that digitization and automation will displace 75 million jobs – personnel that will become obsolete and will be replaced by machines – but that, at the same time, 133 million jobs will emerge with new profiles. At their last meeting, in January 2020, prior to the pandemic, they advocated generating a ‘new revolution’, aimed at professional retraining. What they call ‘Reskilling’.
It is thought that the urgency with which teleworking has erupted has accelerated a change that would have taken up to a decade, both to search for technological platforms and to make organizations aware of their advantages.
Experts agree that what has really been experienced in most companies has not been telework as such, but rather a labour ‘improvisation’, supported by telematic networks, and also in the willingness shown by companies and workers to maintain maximum activity during the state of alarm.
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