Virtualisation and environmentalism revealed as key trends shaping the future of work in the GCC
Data from new research undertaken and expected to be published shortly by The Talent Enterprise has predicted key shifts in the workplace from 2023 to 2030 in the GCC region. Organisations can expect to see a rise in the use of technology, a renewed focus on wellbeing and mental health, and a greater emphasis placed on workplace initiatives relating to environmentalism, activism and representation. Additionally, Millennials and Gen Z will play a more active role in shaping the future of work, predicted to account for 75 percent of the workforce by 2030.
The (soon to be published) research titled, ‘Future of Work: Predictions for the GCC from 2023 to 2030’ outlines five major shifts the workforce can expect this decade. Co-written by Radhika Punshi and David Jones, the five shifts are fuelled by key demographic transitions and accelerated by technological advances, economic and socio-cultural changes experienced across the GCC.
Virtualisation: Defined as digital natives, Millennials and Gen Z are accustomed to technology in education, training and work settings. In the coming years, young employees will see an acceleration in the adoption of technology in sectors like customer service, financial services, education, healthcare and more.
Humanisation: The pandemic has resulted in many individuals placing greater importance on wellbeing. Employees are starting to make decisions around their careers based on personal wellbeing and mental health provisions. As more organisations embrace a hybrid/remote working model to balance, this theme will remain in the spotlight.
Environmentalism: When deciding where to build careers, younger employees view an organisation’s environmental stance as a non-negotiable professional commitment, a perspective that was not as predominant in previous decades. As a result, a growing number of companies will have to, if they have not yet already, institute robust Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies that outline specific carbon neutrality / net zero goals in order to attract youth talent.
Activism: The younger workforce will continue to drive change, while focusing on the triple bottom line (profit, planet and people). There will also be a rise in impact-led startups and enterprises that maintain a purpose driven ethos and are entrepreneurial /innovative.
Representation: As expatriates in the permanent workforce become less common in the GCC, there has been a steady rise in the national workforce with more women and youth participating across all levels, including technical and technological roles. Thanks to specific reforms and better educational attainments in countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, representation of women in leadership and decision making roles will continue to make progress regionally and globally.
“Our speed of learning (and unlearning) will need to be faster than the speed at which things are changing,” says Punshi, Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Talent Enterprise and co-author of the research. “In the past, there was talk about skills being the currency of the future. However, with rapid changes in roles and acceleration of technology, the real valuable currency is people. If you have the right person with the right attributes, they can be upskilled, reskilled and deployed in different sectors.”
Additionally, The Talent Enterprise research highlighted the most in-demand skills for the decade, including wellbeing and selfcare; digital fluency, empathy and inclusion. Digital Citizenship, which refers to the responsible use of technology, will also be a popular skill for future employees with the rise and development of the metaverse and other online platforms for education and work.