The future of work in Australia

Kayla Medica · 25 Feb

The future of work is generally accepted to include automation both removing old jobs and creating new ones, while increasing demand for creative and interpersonal skills.

But the future of work also includes a change in working conditions. Gone are the days of working 9-5 in a cubicle and heading straight home when the day is done. Trendy companies like Google, Uber, and Atlassian have set new standards of free meals for employees, beautiful offices, and perks to take home as well.

Flexible working hours and time off is no longer considered to be the amazing benefit it once was - now it’s the standard.

So what does the future of work look like for the average Australian?

Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes has said he thinks driving as a profession will soon be eliminated, including trucks, Ubers, and traditional taxis. Data entry, telemarketers, and repetitive manual tasks are also considered highly likely to become obsolete. Meanwhile, professions that require empathy, creativity, and human interaction are unlikely to become obsolete.

79% of executives surveyed by Accenture said that future roles will be based around projects rather than clear cut roles. If you haven’t already put your hand up for a project and started to learn how to collaborate and manage one, it might be a good idea to start now.

It’s possible that you might move from full time work into part time, casual, or contract roles, or vice versa. It could be that your position doesn’t change, but your team is now scattered across locations and time zones, so you’ll need to adapt to new communication styles and work expectations.

As employees are being asked to do more and more non-traditional things at work, employers are offering compensations and additional benefits to keep their satisfaction levels high. For Canva, which reached a billion dollar valuation in 2018, employees can look forward to an in house chef, bringing their pets to work, flexible hours, free gym and yoga memberships, social clubs and events, assistance with transferring and relocating around the world, and competitive pay.

Mike Cannon-Brookes’ biggest advice for anyone worried about losing their job in the future is to upskill - and practicing your soft skills on your next work project is a great place to start.