“Your children are going to live to 100 and not have cancer because of technology,” Jamie Dimon said in an interview with Bloomberg. “And literally they’ll probably be working three-and-a-half days a week.” The conversation around compressing the workweek is not a new one, but Jamie Dimon’s 3-day workweek suggestion makes us wonder about the future of work. While most debates around reducing the workweek stem from employee welfare and overworked labor forces, the AI predictions Dimon introduced lean heavily on the acceptance of AI and its replacement of the human labor force.
3-Day Workweek: Jamie Dimon on Future of Work
Dimon’s AI predictions and ponderings on the future of work indicate his strong belief in AI expansion and its applications across industries. The JPMorgan Chase & Co Chairman and CEO explained his perspective on the vast applications of AI, emphasizing his openness to the possibility that AI might even replace the need a for human labor force.
“It’s a living, breathing thing. It’s going to change. There are going to be all different types of models and different types of tools and technology…So errors, trading, hedging research; every app, every database you can be applying AI. So it might be a co-pilot, it might be to replace humans.”
— Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co in conversation with Emily Chang, Bloomberg
He drove the point home with his insistence that this was not a new phenomenon. Technology has always replaced humans and he believes it will continue to do so. Asking people to take a deep breath, he asserts that this change is not one to be feared. Jamie Dimon’s take on the future of work is optimistic—people will live long Cancer-free lives and work less than they do now. While the thought of a 3-day workweek sounds almost like a pleasant system, it remains tinged by the fear of AI and job redundancies.
Shorter Workweeks: Where Do We Stand?
While the 3-day workweek takes the current debate even further, reducing working hours is something that many companies have been testing out. Amazon, Kickstarter, Hutch, Blackbird Interactive, and many others have made the graceful leap towards 4-day workweeks, offering employees full salaries for their 8-hour work days. Other companies have modified their offerings with Capital One offering a 4-day workweek at 80 percent of the salary for some roles, while Forbes Advisor offers every third Friday off. More and more, companies are leaning towards the reduced workweek to maintain a competitive edge.
Yet employers are also resistant to making the change, as the list of possible negative outcomes is extensive as well. Companies are worried about a decline in productivity, loss of business during non-working hours, additional hiring expenses for lost hours, expenses for being unable to meet supply demands, customer dissatisfaction, etc. There is also the challenge of planning out the logistics of such a big move while ensuring employees do not return to towering piles of work every Monday.
The 4-day workweek still appears to be an idealistic situation for most businesses and workers. Still, it is unlikely that many will appreciate the switch to a 3-day workweek for the reasons Jamie Dimon predicts for the future of work.
AI Predictions: Do We Want a 3-Day Workweek with the Risk of Job Redundancy?
McKinsey’s research into AI and its predictions about the future of work has a lot of useful insight to offer. Their analysis indicates that the implementation of advanced deep learning techniques could contribute $3.5 trillion to $5.8 trillion in annual value. On the flip side, they predict that 15 percent of the global workforce could experience displacement by automation between 2016-2030. With accelerated adoption, they predict the numbers could be as high as 30 percent, which would be roughly 800 million workers. According to their AI predictions, physical tasks in structured environments, data collection services, and data processing jobs could experience the most significant automation shifts.
With the increased adoption of AI, workers have begun fearing for the future of work, where their skill sets will become wholly insufficient to earn them a living. With a fall in job availability due to automation, industries could see a flood of applications for their limited openings, increasing the strain on the hiring process. This might also eliminate the need to offer competitive packages to hire talent, with salaries taking a hit once AI becomes a more affordable expense in the long run. The 3-day workweek would be the least of one’s concerns.
Jamie Dimon on the Future of Work: Redistribution of Employees
Dimon addresses the shifting job market with the hope of redeploying people who enter their workforce. “Some of the jobs are transitory but we hire 30,000 people a year,” he states, “so we expect to be able to get them a job somewhere local, in a different branch or a different function, if we can do that.” The thought is relieving and in ideal circumstances, companies might seek to retain their workforce in some way. The reality might be quite different with budgets, profit margins, and reassignment complications all considered.
The opinions Jamie Dimon presents on the future of work provide a fascinating insight into the utility of AI and the simplification of our lives once AI provides concrete solutions to existing problems. With such an unlimited use case, AI predictions are right in indicating its active role in the future of work, however, its implementation should not be rushed. While the talk of a 3-day workweek might push forward a lot of debate, we are quite a distance away from this future so workers may not need to worry about their jobs just yet.