Workforce 4.0

7 Work Trends to Expect

As we move into the fourth industrial revolution, also known as Workforce 4.0, significant shifts are underway. The first industrial revolution was marked by a transition to coal and steam power, and the second moved into electricity, gas, and oil. Assembly lines began and inventions like the plane, auto, and telephone arrived. The third industrial revolution brought the computer and internet, along with a new age of digitization. Now, as companies and workers implement advanced technologies and remote arrangements, new trends are entering the scene.

Watch for these changes that will help to redefine work in the coming years:

1. Remote Work/Home Office is Here to Stay

When workers left the office during the pandemic, they settled into new routines—and now most don’t want to come back to the workplace like they did in the past. While organizations may need to build hybrid schedules, they’ll want to consider when remote can be an option, and when in-person meetings might be valuable. Even if companies don’t need large office spaces, they may benefit from smaller, satellite locations so team members in the area can come in to work occasionally.

2. Interaction with Machines Will Be More Natural

AI enables more natural language interaction, which makes it easier to communicate with technology. We can expect companies to integrate AI into more of their processes, including assistance for written documents, idea generation, and summaries of meetings. For instance, if a brief AI-generated update is given after a conference, those who attended can quickly review what was covered, and those who didn’t participate will have an overview of what happened.

3. Deeper Interaction Between Brands and Consumers

Customers and brand ambassadors will serve almost as an employee of a company, sharing information about products, services, and experiences. This allows brands to become more visible and accessible to users. Customers who want to buy a product could reach out to ask about it and get answers quickly. They could go on to purchase what they want and have it shipped in the way they prefer.

4. AI Workforce in Customer Support

With the latest advancements, AI agents can reduce costs and improve the customer experience. We can expect improved multilanguage support and shorter times to solving problems. Klarna announced that a month after launching its AI assistant powered by OpenAI, there was a 25% drop in repeat inquiries.

5. Hyper Personalized Experiences

One key differentiator for 5-star hotels is the personalized treatment of the guests and homework preparation done upfront to make sure guests feel like they are special. Not all the businesses can afford that and with the help of data and AI this is going to become more accessible at a lower cost. The increasing amount of data collected and stored, paired with the GenAI technology which is able to summarize it, look for trends and make recommendations, will make personalization a treat available for any kind of business operating digitally.

6. AI Executive Assistants

More people will be able to afford an “executive assistant, ” available 24/7 and ready to make sure our tasks are mostly “review and approve.” Imagine that while you grab your coffee and open your inbox, you see a set of recommendations for the next steps. Decision making, empathy, and invisible human relationships will become increasingly valuable, as these will be used in picking up the right solutions provided by the AI agents.

7. Accelerated Re-skilling/Up-skilling

Gone are the days when a degree and job where you started would be something that you’ll follow for the rest of your lifetime. The necessity of learning new skills and applying them to changing industries is a trend that is going to accelerate. Some may find help with reskilling through their company while others will do the legwork on their own.

As Workforce 4.0 unfolds, it will become ever more important to integrate technology and generative AI into everyday tasks. Still, organizations will need to prioritize human-centric tasks to keep staff members engaged and satisfied. By supporting a workforce equipped with the skills needed to serve today’s customers, companies can position themselves for sustained growth and relevance.

Gerard Szatvanyi

Author: Gerard Szatvanyi

As a founding member and CEO of OSF Digital, Gerry has more than 15 years of experience managing start-ups and medium-size IT businesses and driving them to peak performance. With background in Enterprise Applications, IT Services and Consultancy, Gerry's impressive client and business portfolio sets him in the new breed for global entrepreneurship.