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Stop Obsessing Over the “Future of Work”

Guest Article Provided by Sandra Harbrecht, Paul Werth Associates


A lot is written these days about the "future of work." For example, experts warn that automation — which already has transformed many workplaces — will only become more pronounced. Artificial intelligence, they say, will accelerate that change.

Still, predicting the future of work is an inexact science, no matter how well reasoned. Some experts in 1950 predicted that, because of the rise of labor unions, we would all be working 30- to 35-hour weeks by 2000.

If the soothsayers were completely honest, they'd say we can't accurately predict how technology — or anything else — will change the way we work in the next 30 years. So, let's stop obsessing so much over the future of work and think about what we should be telling young people that we already know to be true. Here's what we might say:

Trying to anticipate the future can be helpful in many ways. But preparing our young people for lifelong success sometimes requires us to throw away the Tarot deck and focus a little more on what got us here.

What advice do you have for the next generation of employees? We look forward to hearing from you!


Sandra W. Harbrecht
President and CEO
Paul Werth Associates

* Sandy's business is based in Columbus, Ohio.  She presented a session titled "Socially Empowered Customers Are Taking Control - Realizing the Potential and Pitfalls of the Digital Age" at OAMES 2017 Annual Meeting & Exhibition.

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