The future of work | three visions of tomorrow

We encounter the emergence of new industries, business models and behaviours as a result of disruptive innovations. New ways of work – technology, data analytics, social media and ways of communicating are evolving.

Multi generations at work have disrupted the traditional career models, and on how UK business will attract best talent, retain key performers and motivate a talented workforce. And as a consequence, the role of HR will need to change as a result.

The future of work will involve companies that act on purpose around their shared values, all squeezed into three worlds: Orange (small is beautiful), Green (companies care), or Blue (corporate is king) as suggested by PwC in The Future of Work: A journey to 2022 report.


The Future of Work


Our FUTURE of WORK Project focusing on the Business Environment & the People Function of the Future, synthesises key insights and transcend a series of Future Horizons Initiatives and Special Features.

The Shared Purpose QUEST

   The quest is for jobs which promote good health and wellbeing, and are productive.


   The quest is for feeling, serving, caring, appreciating and securing your employees interests.


   The quest is for creating effective digital cultures and putting digital talent to work.


   And last but not least, the quest is for a fair and equitable transition to a sustainable growth model.

The “three Cs”


The future of work will influence and determine many facets of the future of our societies.

These “three Cs” are qualities of a networked society in which we become individually stronger when we act collectively, and shape the future of work.

There is a need to invest in the skills required in the new knowledge economy

The UK government hopes businesses can address unemployment and the skills gap by creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. Also, it’s predicted there will be 12.5 million job due to people leaving the workforce and 2 million new vacancies, with only 7 million young people to fill those 14.5 million jobs. Hence, there’s a need to address skill gaps and competencies for all generations within a Collaborative Engagement Framework.

The world needs to create

600 million new jobs by 2030

just to get back to pre-crisis levels of employment. This will be fuelled mostly young people entering the labour market and the increased participation of women.

According to the Tech-Nation latest report from Tech City UK, the digital economy is supporting the creation of new jobs nearly three times faster than the rest of the market.

IDC found that it will help create approximately 54,000 new jobs in the UK by 2018.

Evolving Global Challenges

In addition to the analysis of drivers directly shaping the business environment, the society also faces an evolving set of global challenges that will shape the framework within which social, economic, political, and regulatory changes will be effected.

The Millennium Project, a global future initiative that draws on a network of contributors from over 80 countries has identified 15 key challenges.

Global Challenges

1. How can sustainable development be achieved for all while addressing global climate change?
2. How can everyone have sufficient clean water without conflict?
3. How can population growth and resources be brought into balance?
4. How can genuine democracy emerge from authoritarian regimes?
5. How can decisionmaking be enhanced by integrating improved global foresight during unprecedented accelerating change?
6. How can the global convergence of information and communications technologies work for everyone?
7. How can ethical market economies be encouraged to help reduce the gap between rich and poor?
8. How can the threat of new and reemerging diseases and immune micro-organisms be reduced?
9. How can education make humanity more intelligent, knowledgeable, and wise enough to address its global challenges?
10. How can shared values and new security strategies reduce ethnic conflicts, terrorism, and the use of weapons of mass destruction?
11. How can the changing status of women help improve the human condition?
12. How can transnational organized crime networks be stopped from becoming more powerful and sophisticated global enterprises?
13. How can growing energy demands be met safely and efficiently?
14. How can scientific and technological breakthroughs be accelerated to improve the human condition?
15. How can ethical considerations become more routinely incorporated into global decisions?

According to the International Legal Technology Association’s latest report on Future Horizons and Transformational Sources, greater mobility of people and data (selected by 81.9% of respondents) and Increasing globalisation (63%) were ranked highest to drive business over the next decade:

Workforce planning and labour supply change considerations

  • Political, Economic, Social and Technology (PEST) factors and future trends, that will drive decisions in the labour market
  • Organisational culture evolution – Socioeconomic trends impacting on employment, globalisation, demographics, and technology
  • The use of digital platforms to extend the reach of service provision and the increased shift into freelancing and temporary work
  • The role of small and medium enterprises as a major job creation engine
  • Unemployment and welfare – labour market policies to reduce unemployment and economic inactivity.
  • Equality and diversity in the labour market and in the workplace. How to ensure employee rights and protection (working time, maternity protection and health and safety)

Mobilising the workforce - Productivity & skills considerations

  • Skill demand and utilisation – The skills people and organisations need at work and how they can be deployed
  • The graduate labour market and the future of higher education
  • The transition from education to employment ; apprenticeships
  • Exploring how to develop a more flexible workforce for the future
  • Increasing female labour-force participation and enhancing labour-market flexibility