The Future of Work

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Changes in both the nature and skills required of employees and the dynamics in the global labour market are creating both uncertainty and opportunity.  Many labour trends have been stable for long periods of time, yet are now entering a period of greater change.

In this report, six major trends have been identified as having the greatest impact on organizations, regardless of size, industry or location:

  • Globalisation of the workforce along with changes in the global labour market; no longer is it a foregone conclusion jobs should be moved to developing economies to gain cost advantages.
  • The demand for skilled labour has been increasing at the same time as large pools of unskilled labour look for work. Increasingly, we see rising rates of unemployment at the same time employers report the inability to fill positions.
  • Generational and cultural diversity in the workforce is increasing, creating challenges for organisations, management and individuals.
  • Job insecurity and high demand for skilled labour are changing the employer/worker relationship and resulting in changing attitudes and values about the nature of work for many.
  • The demand for skilled labour is increasing faster than the supply of skilled labour is growing, indicating future skills shortages.
  • Coordinated efforts between government and industry could positively impact the future workforce.

Understanding the long term trends impacting an organisation is one of the keys to reducing uncertainty and helping create robust strategies and resilient organisations. Strategic foresight helps organisations improve the quality of strategic thinking and brings new insights into the planning and budgeting process. Strategic foresight also helps organisations maintain awareness of the trends that have longer term impacts, monitor indicators of the directions of these trends, and focus initiatives on the long range opportunities.

This 75-page report exposes the major trends in the labour market which will impact business in the years ahead and affect their ability to remain competitive.  How well is your organisation positioned for the future?