The year is 2030 and medical enhancement techniques have led to the creation of a new breed of elite super-workers.
Employee’s performance is measured, monitored and analysed at every step by their corporate overlords.
These elite super-workers use technology to their advantage to become, stronger, faster and smarter.
It may sound like the plot of the next Hollywood science fiction blockbuster, but according to professional services firm PwC it could soon become reality.
The London-based firm’s latest report draws on a survey of over 10,000 people across the UK, Germany, China, India and the US.
It examines four potential worlds of work in 2030, with competing forces shaping the employment landscape in each.
The emphasis placed on the importance of people, business, innovation and the environment will shape how heavily each of the four scenarios will impact the future.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence will affect every level of businesses and its people whatever the case, the report warns.
And megatrends including shifts in global economic power, depleted fossil fuels, extreme weather, increases in global population and an ageing workforce will also shape the landscape.
In a world where business is put first and ‘corporate is king’, workers will have to strive to stay ahead and use every advantage at their disposal.
The report states that, in this world, ‘human effort is maximised through sophisticated use of physical and medical enhancement techniques and equipment, and workers’ performance and well-being are measured, monitored and analysed at every step.
‘A new breed of elite super-workers emerges.’
PwC says 70 per cent would consider using treatments to enhance their brain and body if this improved their employment prospects in the future.
To understand why this might be, the company examined people’s attitude toward work.
Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of people surveyed by PwC said they saw it as their personal responsibility, and not their employers, to keep their skills up to date.
In a statement Jon Williams, partner and joint global leader of people and organisation at PwC said: ‘The report outlines four very different worlds, each with huge implications for how we know work today.
‘None of us can know with any certainty what the world will look like in 2030, but its likely facets of the four worlds will feature in some way and at some time.
‘Machine learning and AI will help us do a much better job of workforce planning in the future, but we can’t sit back and wait for the future of work to happen.
‘Those organisations and workers that understand potential futures, and what each might mean for them, and plan ahead, will be best prepared to succeed.’
To many this may sound like a nightmare vision, similar to the world portrayed in the 1997 film Gattaca.
In it, Ethan Hawke’s character Vincent Freeman dreams of becoming an astronaut but the society in which he lives is determined by eugenics.
This allows parents, especially the wealthy, to ensure their children inherit their best genetic traits.
Freeman who has inferior, natural, genes has to trick the system to realise his ambitions.
Despite the potential consequences to society, humanity seems ready to embrace other types of technological enhancement.
Companies are already offering microchip implants to their employees.
And a new generation of nootropics, drugs designed to improve cognitive abilities, have hit the headlines in recent years.
So it doesn’t take much to imagine a future where such enhancements become the norm.
The majority of respondents (65 per cent) to the survey said that they believe technology will improve their job prospects.
Workers in the US (73 per cent) and India (88 per cent) were more confident than those in the UK (40 per cent) and Germany (48 per cent).
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