The future of work - The Irish News
The Profit Margin Podcast

The future of work

Will a robot be doing your job in future?

Much has been made about technological advances in the office; ironically it means we don’t even need an office anymore as remote working is now easier and more accessible than ever.

Though where will the inevitable march of progress take us? Will robots really steal our jobs? Could a lot of the work we do now, potentially be replaced by artificial intelligence?

Timandra Harkness presents a programme on Radio 4 on “future proofing.” We caught up with her at the Women in Business conference in Belfast. She makes the point that a lot of jobs are more susceptible to automation than the vast majority of people realise. Ultimately though, she believes there will always be a place for human creativitiy, instinct and intuition, in particular when it comes to developing new products.  You can listen to her interview in our podcast and find out which sectors she thinks are most vulnerable to the march of machines.

There are also more immediate pressing concerns about how the current workforce is changing. How do we deal with the demographics of an ageing workforce as the retirement age is pushed up, plus how do hold onto millennials once you’ve invested in them? Dr Nicola Millard is head of customer insight and futures at BT. She was in Belfast for the Business in the Community conference. A  psychologist by background she has tips around how to retain staff and build trust between the generations.

One women looking for feedback from firms in Northern Ireland is  Dr Ruth McKernan. She’s the new CEO of innovate UK.  Their job is to find and drive the technology innovations that will grow our economy.  In fact, Innovate UK is going to appoint a regional manager in Northern Ireland. On her first official visit to Belfast in her new capacity you can hear how Ruth thinks Northern Ireland compares to the rest of the UK in terms of innovation. 

Our start-up this week, is one of the finalists in the Invest NI Propel Programme.  Olivia Farnam is the founder of the Blinky company. She’s developing products aiming to make the lives of parents and babies easier. 

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