Work. It’s a subject that unites us all.
But have you ever wondered where the standard 9-5 that governs our every day came from? Or where it’s headed?
A new report created by futurist James Wallman and Yell reveals a positive view on how working lives will look by the year 2050. This is thanks to a wave of new technologies including artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the internet of things.
The results are intriguing, with the most prominent being the ‘Four Hour Working Day’.
All in a day’s work
The current work day was set up to squeeze as much as possible out of workers when they performed routine tasks in factories and offices.
But Emerging research suggests that 8-hour days are a suboptimal way to work – the optimum is far closer to 4 hours per day.
As robots and ‘cobots’ perform more of the routine tasks, humans will become more creative. And the best way to be creative is to work around four hours per day. This radical change will also have huge benefits on our health and wellbeing, as well as balancing family life.
A prediction sure to excite workers around the world, Yell took the notion of a four-hour working day and asked three entrepreneurs for their thoughts on how this might impact them and their working lives.
Tim Antos, Founder of sleep aiding headphones, Kokoon Technology sees this a positive prediction, especially with the ethos behind his product.
“This heavily ties in with a personal passion of mine, and a big reason for Kokoon: the need for everyone to get enough sleep. This is so essential, and shorter working hours will allow that to happen, and that will have a huge knock-on effect with productivity,” he said.
Sarah Slade, working mum and co-owner of mood-boosting candle brand, SevenSeventeen, thinks it’s a game changer.
“With the help of cobots, getting the most out of our time should become easier. As business owners, there will undoubtedly always be the unavoidable call at 9pm or having to pop in to the office at the weekend – but ultimately, it’s flexibility we see as being the most important game changer in the future of business,” she explained.
Future work trends
The report focuses on a further six key trends predicted by James, including the ‘Cobot Revolution’: a world where humans work collaboratively with robots in all industries, a key aspect of making a four hour work day possible.
Mark Clisby, Product and Marketing Director at Yell said: “We’re living in a time of incredible change. The next 30 years are set to be very exciting for us all. We look forward to continuing to help business owners and consumers to adapt to changing technologies, both now and in the future.”