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7 Trends for the Future of Work to 2022
Globalization of any job that CAN be globalized

Increasing globalization will move jobs and businesses to look for the best combination of low cost and highly qualified talent, wherever in the world they are located.


After the recession starting in 2009, large American corporations slashed payrolls by a net 500,000 jobs. At the same time these corporations hired 729,000 workers overseas.


By 2022, as wages rise in Asia this process will slow down. However multinational corporations will continue to evaluate the comparative costs and advantage of labor in different countries. They will choose where to locate their staff based on rational economic decision of the best combination of talent levels and labor cost.


Increased outsourcing of high knowledge worker jobs

In the first wave of outsourcing we saw manufacturing jobs move from the rich industrialized west into poorer developing nations.

The next wave of outsourcing will be more complex with knowledge and high skilled jobs being outsourced between nations.

For example, skill shortages in China will force Chinese companies to look at the global talent pool. Some organizations predict a worldwide shortage of skilled college educated workers, of over 38 million people by 2022. This will drive up wages in developing countries and will also drive the globalization of knowledge work.


Automation of everything that can be automated

Two hundred years ago 70% of American workers worked in Agriculture. Today only 1% are still working on farms, representing the elimination of over 98% of jobs on the farm.

The same trends will continue with many other sectors of work. Every job that can be automated with software, will be automated. Every job that can be performed by a robot will be performed by robots.

The year 2022 will not represent the end of this trend but will be well and truly in the middle of the trend. Robots will become increasingly more intelligent, adaptive and flexible at the type of work they can do. Companies that are basing their manufacturing business purely on labor cost advantages will struggle to compete with well-organized automated factories.


Geographic mismatches

A survey showed that despite large unemployment 30% Global companies had positions open for more than six months.

There will be significant mismatches in skills between regions and countries. Workers with the skills that are needed may be in short supply where companies are hiring, and places with large unemployment will not compensate fast enough with job creation.

The solution to these geographic mismatches will come from both migration and an increase in remote work. Rich countries will continue to restrict employment visas which will force companies that are trying to access the global talent pool to hire and work with skilled people remotely.


Employees taking work home and home to work

The boundary between the office and the home will become less distinct with workers often working from home.

Right now, 42% of workers use their smartphone device at home for work purposes. Another side of this trend is that as employees are working harder at home, more employers will allow some flexibility in working hours, and in the ability to telework.


Collaboration software is increasingly adopted by businesses.

For example with Skype growing 48% year on year and already representing â…“ of international fixed line call volumes. Businesses are increasingly using Skype as a cornerstone of communication when operating virtually.

Over 4 million businesses use Google apps with 40 million active users and the user base continuing to grow rapidly.


“We look at the present through a rearview mirror. We march backwards into the future.” Marshall McLuhan

To observe trends, it is crucial to understand that they are interlinked and connected to socioeconomic and cultural drivers influencing tomorrow’s government and business success stories.

‘What’s next’ in technology often focuses on the obvious: speed, size and cost – but we seem to forget that people are integral to shaping the future and the sociology of technology. At IQ Overseas Education we have investigated 4 key clusters of digital technology:



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