Top 3 skills that will be needed in the future of work

Have you ever found yourself struggling with decision fatigue? How about feeling overwhelmed by increasingly sophisticated technology? Alternatively, you might’ve struggled with communicating with co-workers. People struggle with ‘soft skills’ in business every day. At Sozo Labs, we have begun to think about how the world of work is changing, and what skills future workers will need to thrive. With over 40% of European businesses struggling to fill vacancies because candidates lack the necessary skills, thinking about how you will thrive in the world of business is more important than ever. Here’s why the ability to make sound decisions, be comfortable with technology, and to communicate well will be crucial in the ever-changing world of work:

1. Decision-Making Ability

Technologies like automation, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics are making some aspects of the working world significantly more efficient and automatic. Sometimes we wonder if human beings are required at all! If the horrific nature of the post-apocalyptic world that Will Smith finds himself in in I, Robot is anything to go by, human beings are doomed to be exterminated by their own creations.

Will Smith as’Del Spooner’ in ‘I, Robot’ (2004)

Therefore, it’s somewhat paradoxical to think that decision-making skills are likely to become more important than ever in the future of work. As the professional world becomes more complicated and connected, the prudential judgements of creative human beings will be invaluable. In order to make sound business decisions, understanding how to interpret numbers and trends, and how to make the right personnel decisions, will be crucial in succeeding in the workplace of the future.

2. Being Comfortable Interacting with Technology, particularly Virtual Reality 

The workplaces of the near are predicted to be radically different from the pre-pandemic norm

VR is a prime example of a technology that the working world will have to get more comfortable with. Simulated realities are becoming more prevalent across industries like manufacturing, medicine, architecture, urban planning, and product development. As a result, Deloitte reports that AI, VR, and automation are “being used increasingly in the workplace”. For future workers to be well-prepared to work with virtual simulations in their professional lives, it is important that they are familiar with VR technology from a young age. The good news is that the early results from VR solutions in secondary education are also promising. Fortune Business Insights predicts that the VR in education market will grow to over US$13 Billion by 2026.

A Taiwanese study of 448 students had promising results for VR. It indicated that those engaging with VR in their schooling improved language learning and critical thinking skills. Results from the VR ‘Career Mindset Development’ Trail in 5 Further Education (FE) Colleges in London that taught students using VR reported that: 81% of students would recommend the experience to peers, roughly 73% were able to identify ways to improve their skills upon completion, and 78% of students rated the experience as effective.

In addition, VR is a highly versatile skill. VR is useful for many subjects. Teaching in robotics, mechanics, automotive repair, biological dissections, and language learning, can all happen in the same classroom. The flexibility of VR illustrates that literacy in this medium will become the norm.

3. Interpersonal Communication Skills

A huge fear of many professionals is that they’ll have an inability to connect with an important co-worker. For instance, diplomacy and empathy in high-stress environments can be challenging for even the most patient among us. And sometimes you can’t help it if Jacques from engineering is just having a bad day. Understanding and communicating with co-workers through virtual media will be crucial.

The world moving towards a more flexible and decentralised working model. Producing a thoughtful and insightful email, or communicating effectively without the advantages of body-language, are likely to be vital skills. Incidentally, VR is already helping to develop soft skills through simulated learning. This illustrates the increasing importance of being familiar with virtual technology. Participants can learn soft skills up to 4x faster using VR than traditional learning methods. Technology and international connectivity will undoubtedly continue to grow at an exponential rate. Simplifying your message in a way that is engaging, will be a vital skill in interpersonal workplace communication.

Communication with and through the use of technology will an absolute must.

Professionals will need Flexibility in the New World of Work

The world of work is changing. As a result, the ability to be flexible and creative across many positions in various industries has never been more important. Many companies are implementing different kinds of working hours, communication styles, training solutions, and technological solutions. Having the ability to make consistently good business decisions, being comfortable with virtual technological solutions, and having strong interpersonal skills will set the employees of the future apart from their competition.

With over 40% of European businesses struggling to fill vacancies…thinking about how you will thrive in the world of business is more important than ever.

Above all, With over 40% of European businesses struggling to fill vacancies in 2021, thinking about how you will thrive in the world of business is more important than ever.

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