Business by the year 2050: New report predicts robot co-workers and four hour working days

7 November 2017, UK – A report released today by Yell reveals a positive view on how businesses will look by the year 2050, thanks to a wave of new technologies including artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the internet of things.

The digital marketing services provider has partnered with acclaimed futurist and author James Wallman, to predict how certain changes in what has been dubbed ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ will affect small, or relatively new businesses.

The full report, which is available to download here, focuses on seven key trends predicted by James, including:

The Cobot Revolution

Instead of worrying about robots, we should be excited about ‘cobots’ — robots that are colleagues, designed to work collaboratively alongside humans. Machines will conduct more of the repetitive, routine tasks — from chopping and fetching to searching through libraries of information and making complex calculations. This means that humans will move further up the value chain and do the tasks that machines don’t do so well - those that require creativity, empathy and, simply, the human touch. As a result, ‘cobots’ will make us more productive, and happier at work.

The 4-Hour Work Day

The current work day was set up to squeeze as much as possible out of workers when they performed routine tasks in factories and offices. Emerging research suggests that 8-hour days are a suboptimal way to work – the optimum is far closer to 4 hours per day. As robots and ‘cobots’ perform more of the routine tasks, humans will become more creative. And the best way to be creative is to work around four hours per day.

The Reputation Game

In an era of transparency, and heightened concerns about ethics and the environment, businesses are moving from a single-minded concern for profits, to a broader interest. Your priority is not only about running a successful business, but also people, our planet, purpose, and your performance. Your reputation — what you’re able to do and how you do it — will be ever more important in the future.

Following the rapid growth of digital and social media, Yell has transformed into a digital business – helping businesses and consumers be successful online and is committing to help a million businesses be found, chosen and trusted by more customers online by 2020.

Mark Clisby, Product and Marketing Director at Yell said: “We’re living in a time of incredible change. Amongst the ‘cobots’ and shorter working days, the importance of reputation in the future really resonated with us. Because for any small business owner, the focus must be on the customer, no matter how advanced technology gets.”

“The next 30 years are set to be very exciting for us all. We look forward to continuing to help business owners and consumers to adapt to changing technologies, both now and in the future.”

You can read more and access the report here

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About Yell

Yell is No. 1 for managed digital marketing services for all types of local businesses in the UK. Its goal is simple; to connect consumers and businesses online. Yell.com now provides advanced tools to support consumers in their search for suppliers, including ratings and reviews, mobile apps and social media sharing. Yell is the largest reseller of Google AdWords in the UK and provides a full range of digital media and managed services for businesses including Pay Per Click, Display  and Social advertising, Websites and online directory listings. Over 130,000 businesses currently advertise with Yell, and Yell.com is used by millions of consumers every month.

About James Wallman

James Wallman is a futurist. He runs strategy + innovation + futures consultancy The Future is Here. He wrote the best-selling book, Stuffocation (Penguin, 2015). Wallman has advised companies from Absolut to Zurich Financial. He has given talks from Amsterdam to Las Vegas; at venues including the Googleplex and 10 Downing Street. He has forecast the future since 2004. His opinions have appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Economist, and Wired. He has appeared on TV and radio from Australia to Brazil and the US. He has an MA in Classics from the University of Oxford.