For many years, there has been speculation about the future of work. Will there be such a thing as formal employment by 2020?

Will we be going in to offices when technology allows us to work anywhere? Obviously, automation itself is disrupting the workplace, along with 3D printing and machine learning. Digitalisation and automation have been changing work for decades. Artificial intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction as more routine tasks can be passed on, and soon even some creative processes will be entrusted to machines as they develop imagination. But the word that’s most often used as business models change is disruption. Global consulting firm Mercer conducted an international survey, including SA, that produced an interesting breakdown of the job trends across job "families". The head of the Mercer family in Singapore, Kulshaan Singh, says there will be a massive loss in jobs in the office and administrative "family", with almost 4.8-million jobs falling away by 2020 across the 15 countries surveyed — far more than the jobs created in all the other families.It is no surprise that mor...

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