The world of work in the year 2050

by Stephanie Zillman20 Jun 2012

There’s a new industry on the way and it’s worth $1 trillion. What is it? It’s the new ‘utility’, and it will transform the world of work as we know it.

According to predictions in a new report, Australia’s Digital Future to 2050, by IBISWorld and IBM, the new ‘utility’ as it’s referred to, will spell the enhancement of nearly all of our industries, and the extinction of some industrial-age industries. The world of ICT will be enhanced by high-speed broadband, cloud-computing, analytics, learning systems, cognitive computing and more, rendering the world of work, and employer-employee relations heading towards a whole new frontier.

Key predictions: Enterprise and workplace of the future

  • Teleworking – Perhaps one in four people in the workforce could be working at least partially from home if not full-time in the middle of this century. If so, then we would have five million working from home at least part of the time – taking millions of commuters off the roads. Almost half would directly benefit from – if not actually be enabled by – high-speed ubiquitous broadband.
  • No boundaries – As the new utility helps overcome factors like geographical distance, regional centres and some rural communities will be reinvigorated. Teleworking will enable some jobs centred in capital cities to be relocated to the bush. Skilled workers will be able to live anywhere they choose, and businesses will be able to source skilled employees across international boundaries.
  • The term ‘employee’ will be extinct – as a result of teleworking, the concept of 9-5 will be a relic. Workers may contribute to a variety of enterprises and will not be tied to a single employer.
  • Medium-sized enterprises, or companies with revenue of $1m-$100m, will continue to experience the fastest levels of growth due to: the trend to outsourcing by households and businesses, creating new entrepreneurial opportunities; the lower need or demand for capital (being service industries that are the fastest growing); and more flexible lenders.


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  • by Geoff Nix 20/06/2012 6:25:53 PM

    Just reinforces the key aspects of my new training program - how we apply our time, attention, energy and enthusiasm will dictate our success. In the knowledge and information age, physical proximity will become a non-issue and using our time effectively will become key.

    Technology always cuts both ways - we've got more time-saving devices at our fingertips than ever before, but we feel busier, more frantic and stressed than ever before.

    We need to develop our attentional skills to keep up. Time is our most important asset, or tool, but most people are never shown how to use that tool.

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