Skills that pay the bills: How to adapt to an AI-centric world

August 28, 2023

With rapidly advancing AI, it’s important to consider how jobs will change with increased automation. 

Machine learning and natural language processing models have started to play a major role in our lives. From automating data collection in key industries to providing virtual assistants, their impact on the workplace is hard to ignore. 

In discussing which jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI), we often neglect to ask a similar question: What jobs will be created as a result of AI? 

With new technologies, changing consumer demands, and new ethical interpretations of the world, the reality is that the job market is constantly in flux. A report released earlier this year by Goldman Sachs pointed out that 60%  of current jobs did not exist in 1940.¹

As roles shift over time as a result of rapidly advancing AI, it is perhaps unfair to view this as an exodus of jobs. Some speculate that AI may create more jobs than it removes. 

PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study found that any job loss from automation is likely to be offset by new jobs created.² These new jobs will require new skills, meaning it is time to invest in upskilling and reskilling employees. 

Within facilities and property management, we have already seen increased efficiency, greater returns, and happier tenants. A business environment is developing where AI is beginning to take over manual or repetitive processes. There are certain skills that property professionals and FMs should now be focusing on in order to work seamlessly alongside AI. 

Our industry is on the cusp of transformation with the advent of AI and automation. While AI brings efficiency and optimisation to processes, it also presents challenges for the workforce, potentially leading to job displacement. However, by embracing the opportunities presented by AI and investing in reskilling and upskilling initiatives, professionals in property and facilities management can stay ahead of the curve and create a future-ready workforce.

It’s time to reskill and upskill

Granted, AI integration will make some skills obsolete. The Goldman Sachs report estimated that 46% of administrative roles could realistically be automated.³ But humans have a great level of oversight; we are by no means obsolete. 

Evidence of growing user satisfaction is a main appeal of integrating AI into property and facility management. Our customers have 24/7 access to the askporter digital assistant. Despite this, more complex queries are always raised to a human member of the team if they cannot be dealt with by the tool. 

Some jobs are simple and may only need an AI. For example: Your dishwasher is making a funny noise, or your boiler might be giving up - could someone come round at a vague time this week and check, or can AI diagnose, forward on or solve the problem in seconds? Others require a human conversation with real empathy. Having both options is the secret to happy users. 

It may seem intimidating, but this has all been done before. A case in point: Huge numbers of people were cautious when it first came to online banking, and Fintech continues to disrupt its industry. But the population is used to this now. We have adapted. 

The pandemic saw some of the greatest examples of reskilling, noted in McKinsey’s 2020 report⁴. Tesco, for example, was struck with skyrocketing sales demands during Covid, and, as a result, introduced workers from other industries that had been furloughed or lost their jobs. The supermarket later made plans to employ more than 16,000 extra workers⁵.

The same rings true now as AI and other technologies disrupt the workforce. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, 50% of employees will need to reskill because of automation⁶. What we deem a top skill now will look very different over the space of the next decade. 

By investing in upskilling to enhance digital aptitude, you not only become more desirable in the modern working world but also automatically gain time back to develop skills that were otherwise out of reach. Individuals gain the power to become strategic decision-makers, learn broader management skills, or become creatives while the AI manages the tasks they didn’t want to do anyway. 

AI will actually create new jobs

The integration of AI into property and facilities management will encourage new roles and responsibilities that focus on leveraging AI to optimise operations, enhance tenant experiences, and drive efficiencies. There is already a growing demand for professionals who can interpret and leverage data from AI systems effectively. 

Specialists are needed, and this is still new, so to reskill or upskill into tech now is to get ahead of the curve. While the technology itself may respond in real time, the facilities and property management world needs people to oversee the products, and make decisions accordingly. Technology in facilities and property management will aid the efforts of humans⁷. 

If askporter’s digital assistant is at your disposal and your workflow is therefore automated, your priorities shift. A personal aim for the quarter may have been to develop project management or leadership skills, but if only you had the time! Now you do. By investing in upskilling, you are investing in your work and therefore your company, but at the very core, the investment is in you and your career. 

So, much will come from accepting AI and other technological developments, but there will come a time when it will be a mistake not to. By upskilling or reskilling and accepting AI, the facilities and property management industries will begin to improve things like first-time fix rates and reduce time waste⁸. This will drive efficiency and adaptability into the sector, maximising profit margins. 

New skills come in all shapes and sizes. They may be analytical or data-based, or they may be qualitative in order to develop leadership qualities. Rather than viewing AI as an obstacle, it is critical that we are not afraid to utilise AI to better our businesses, and ourselves. 




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