A new PBS series, the The future of work, starting in September, highlights rapidly changing trends in the way Americans will practice their trade. The six episode docuseries delve deeply into the “accelerating pace of change in the workplace and the potential for long-term impact on workers, employers, educators and communities across our country.”
The show will chronicle people who work in a wide range of industries, salary levels and age groups. The documentary will explore topics such as balancing university debt and finding jobs that could pay it off, the gig economy, remote working, digital nomads, the rise of robotics, intelligence artificiality, the sustainability of your career and other trends emanating from the pandemic.
One of the most exciting things to come out of the pandemic is that businesses and workers have opened up to new ideas. There is no longer a need to do things just because “we’ve always done it that way.” We are entering a period of rapid change.
The Great Resignation led millions of workers to quit their jobs to find better opportunities. People are taking more and more risks with their careers. The series takes a critical look at the ‘decline in the number of workers opting for stability and predictability in their 9-5 jobs, and the rise of a new precariat – people who live from short-term employment to short-term employment. ‘other “.
To win the war for talent, companies are starting to listen to their employees and respond to their needs. The hybrid working model, in which employees will visit the office two or three days a week and work from home or remotely the rest of the time, seems to be gaining consensus among companies.
We also see employees demanding to stay at home, to work remotely. They say they will quit if they are forced to return to an office 9-5 and 5 days a week. A lot of people have decided to leave their homes and work from different places. People started doing their jobs at the beach or near the ski slopes. Some have decided to move to less expensive places in the United States to save money, while still receiving the same pay. Adventurous types traveled to other countries as digital nomads.
The documentary-style programming portrays the journeys of a certain number of workers. One of the pieces covers what it’s like to live and work as a digital nomad. After going through an existential crisis, Annette told her boss about her episodes of depression. She was made redundant and felt “indispensable” and “replaceable”. Her husband, Daniel, worked as an emergency room manager. The couple decided to make a big change. They sold their property. Dan quit his job. They embarked on a journey across the world leading a “digital nomad” lifestyle. The couple traveled to Italy, India, France, Malaysia, Cuba, Vietnam and ended up settling for a while in Thailand.
Annette explained, “I thought the worst case scenario was that we were traveling for a year. The best case scenario is that we make it a lifestyle.” They made a living working online doing video editing, freelancing, graphic design, and teaching English. It is estimated that around ten million Americans are currently working as digital nomads. Many are not too keen on making a lot of money, but greatly appreciate the pursuit of experiences. Nomads do not want to be burdened with mortgage payments they cannot afford or burdened with permanent jobs.
The digital nomadic experience is not for everyone. You have to worry about internet connectivity to do your job, immigration laws, security, and learning new customs. Nomadic workers have become a source of income for the countries and they have welcomed the new arrivals. The US dollar carries weight around the world, allowing Annette and Dan to inexpensively live in a beautiful Thai house with panoramic views of the beach and nature. They work to live and do not live to work.
More than 55 million Americans work in the odd-job economy. They work for large app-based technology companies like Uber, Lyft, and TaskRabbit. Chloe Grishaw is on the TaskRabbit platform. She sets her own schedule and knows what she accepts without any long term obligations. Chloe enjoys freedom and flexibility, however, with that comes a certain financial insecurity. There is no 9 to 5, no health insurance or pension plan. It goes from one concert to another.
These are just a few examples explored in the PBS series. The program will also address important issues and questions such as which jobs can we expect to be automated and which cannot, how to ‘sustain’ your current job and is the ‘American Dream’ still alive?