If you hate working in the office and administrative sector, it might be time to stop taking things for granted.

That industry is the most likely to see a termination of jobs by 2020, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The report is based on a survey of chief human resources officers and top strategy executives from companies across nine broad industry categories and covering 15 of the world’s largest economies.

It highlighted that developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and genetics and biotechnology, will cause widespread disruption not only to business models but also to labour markets over the next five years,.

It added enormous change is also predicted in the skill sets needed to thrive in this new landscape.

In terms of overall impact, the report indicated that as many as 7.1 million jobs could be lost through redundancy, automation or disintermediation, with the greatest losses in white-collar office and administrative roles.

“This loss is predicted to be partially offset by the creation of 2.1 million new jobs, mainly in more specialised ‘job families’, such as computer and mathematical or architecture and engineering,” ,” a WEF press release stated.

The report explained that the impact of disruption will vary considerably across industry and gender as well as job type.

For example, healthcare is expected to experience the greatest negative impact in terms of jobs in the next five years, followed jointly by energy and financial services and investors.

The industry that stands to create the most jobs is, unsurprisingly, information and communication technology, followed by professional services and media, entertainment and information professionals.

“Without urgent and targeted action today to manage the near-term transition and build a workforce with futureproof skills, governments will have to cope with ever-growing unemployment and inequality, and businesses with a shrinking consumer base,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

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The report also added in a gender implication to the future of jobs.

Based on the absolute job gains and losses mentioned above, the burden of job losses seems to fall equally on women (48%) and men (52%).

In Malaysia, one of the ways to enable more productivity in such an environment is to find ways to optimise the rise of the digital and mobile age.

Recently, K-Pintar and German cloud-based learning solutions partner, Speexx, conducted a knowledge sharing session, with the support of the Malaysian Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).

Hosted by Speexx president and co-founder, Armin Hopp, the workshop focused on the need to understand how the next generation of workers is embracing technology whilst expecting flexible working conditions more than ever now.

As such, employers will need to equip themselves on what measures can be deployed through cloud computing in managing their employees that may be based anywhere in the world.

K-Pintar CEO, RA Thiagaraja, said: “Agile technology supports an organisation’s HR functions by making employee engagement more easily accessible. The 24/7 availability of programmes is not only cost effective, but has the capability of meeting employee expectations.”

Puan Wan Yon Shahima Wan Othman, COO of HRDF, commented on the organisation helping to realise the Government’s aspiration of a developed nation by 2020 through a 35% skilled Malaysian workforce.

” HRDF’s primary role is to support the human resource development and productivity of the local workforce through reskilling and up-skilling programmes and initiatives to propel Malaysia into the next level of high growth.”

Image: Shutterstock

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