The employee of tomorrow: teamwork will fall in importance while analytical skills grow

The employee of tomorrow: teamwork will fall in importance while analytical skills grow

A survey for AAT has highlighted the skills the accountant will need in 15 years’ time

The employee of tomorrow: teamwork will fall in importance while analytical skills grow

Being fearless, innovative and opinionated will all become more important by 2033, along with analytical skills such as data analysing and risk analysis.

The findings came in a YouGov survey commissioned by AAT. YouGov spoke to 1,000 senior decision makers across all industries about the skills and characteristics that were most required in today’s workplace. They then asked which of these would rise and fall over the coming 15 years.

Decision makers thought some of those skills will remain just as important in the future as they are today. The ability to communicate was marked as important today by 80 percent of managers. Sixty-eight percent said they still thought this would be an important skill in 2033.

Being adaptable and being proactive were both seen as skills important today and in the future.

But some skills will fall in importance as the business world moves towards greater automation and flexible hours. These include teamwork, listening and, perhaps worryingly, behaving ethically.

The decision makers rated data analysis as a skill which will increase in importance, from 36 percent of those surveyed rating it as important today while 46 percent saw it as an important skill for 2033.

Mark Farrar, AAT’s chief executive, said: “If the decision makers we spoke to prove correct, then employees will need to better develop their data analysis skills over the coming years if they wish to charm their potential future workplace’s recruiters.”

Changing roles

“The rise in importance of skills such as being a consultant and strategic thinking shouldn’t come as a huge surprise when we look at recent office evolution,” Farrar said.

“When computers accelerated in use in the workplace for example, many people thought this would lead to the decline of accountants and bookkeepers.

“However, automation has removed more mundane manual tasks, freeing them up to concentrate on the more interesting and added value areas of accountancy such as the production of management information and trend analysis.”

Why some skills will be less important

Artificial intelligence and the reduction in the number of people required to actually be in the office will affect the need for certain skills.

Working well as a team is perhaps less important when people work individually and remotely.

However, Farrar said: “Successful businesses are always about people and teams, so it’s my firm belief that this aspect of working life will retain significant importance.

“It will be fascinating to see what actually unfolds over the coming years.”

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