COVID-19 will change both factories and offices for ever

The COVID-19 pandemic has given businesses an unprecedented opportunity to implement profound changes to the way we work, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, Future of Work – Thematic Research, states that the pandemic will leave a lasting legacy, from digitizing processes and re-shaping supply chains to redesigning offices.

Laura Petrone, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “For manufacturers, technology will play an increasingly prominent role in building resilience. As for office work, this will not be the same after COVID-19. Physical spaces will be transformed, and remote working, supported by technology, will become the norm for millions of employees.”

GlobalData’s thematic framework for the future of work highlights the technologies that are disrupting the way we work. The framework has five categories: visualization, connectivity, automation, collaboration and interpretation. Companies developing and adopting the most advanced technologies in each of these categories will emerge as winners in this theme.

Petrone continues: “With the global economy expected to enter a deep and long-lasting recession, automation will accelerate as companies strive to cut costs, bringing with it renewed fears of job losses.”

Fundamental shifts in the structure of the labor market, such as the polarization of the labor force and the rise of the gig economy, were already well underway before the pandemic, but post-COVID-19, these changes are likely to gain fresh momentum, making the discourse around the future of work and its potential positive and negative effects more relevant than ever.

Petrone adds: “While companies are experimenting with new technologies and ways to redesign their workflows to increase productivity, the impact of automation will be felt differently across job categories and disproportionately affect workers with lower levels of education.”

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