The paradox of the robotic age is that automation will only make human skills more valuable. The World Economic Forum estimates that 75 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2022 but 133 million new jobs will be created – jobs requiring uniquely human qualities such as emotional intelligence and fine judgment. But unlike robots, humans have opinions – and that presents its own challenges for employers.
Our survey warns of an unprecedented rise in workplace activism ahead, across all sectors and geographies. As employers explore different working models and advanced technologies, those working for them are becoming more vocal in articulating their views – about the workplace, their employer and about wider social issues – enabled and amplified by social media. The voice of the workforce will insist on being heard as never before. If traditional, internal communication channels fail to meet their needs, external means of raising concerns will fill the gap. Employers need to be prepared for what’s ahead.
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© Herbert Smith Freehills 2021