Eight Drivers of Change


Part 1 


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Part 2 


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Part 3 


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As we emerge bumpily from Covid-19 and lockdowns into the so-called New Normal, we have unparalleled opportunities to change and adapt - in the words of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign slogan, to Build Back Better. At the same time, unprecedented disruption and challenges loom large. These opportunities, disruptions and challenges are especially significant for the evolving world of work. 

The pandemic has stimulated an increased focus on the future of work – from government, business, academia, the media, and from us all as citizens. In the UK, the opposition Labour Party’s appointment of a Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work raises the possibility of a future ministerial portfolio, demonstrating the significant shift in political attention and discourse around the future of work. (The Labour Party in Australia has made a similar appointment of a Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work.)

While Covid-19 might be a leading catalyst for changes to the world of work in the years ahead, it is only one of many drivers of change. Part 1 of this report identifies eight key drivers of change (technology, demographics, sustainability, the role of the state, globalisation, migration, Covid-19, and social trends) in society as a whole and specifically in the workplace. Alongside exploring these drivers of change, the report considers how these interconnected drivers are accelerating change to influence the what, where, from where, when, how, how much/how many, who and why of work. 

Part 2 of the report identifies eight emerging themes (the labour market, regulation and enforcement, flexibility, resilience, socialisation and belonging, inequality and division, diversity and discrimination, and innovation) and considers the impact of the drivers of change on new jobs, old jobs, more jobs, fewer jobs.

Part 3 concludes the report with eight predictions for the future.

About Lewis Silkin

About Lewis Silkin

We work with leading businesses to protect and enhance their most important assets — their ideas, their people, and their future. We call it: Ideas. People. Possibilities.

A leading UK firm with offices in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast and Hong Kong, we are recognised by clients and industry alike as being distinct: for our strong, unique culture, market-leading practice areas, sector focused approach and for providing solutions to complex, multijurisdictional business challenges, with a pragmatic and human touch. We have two things at our core: people — both ours and our clients’— and a focus on creativity, technology and innovation – ideas.

About the Future of Work Hub initiative

About the Future of Work Hub initiative

The world is changing continuously and at an unprecedented pace due to rapid technological advances, shifting demographics and evolving societal expectations. The convergence of these drivers of change is having a significant and direct impact on the world of work, bringing complex challenges for government, businesses and individual’s alike. 

The Future of Work Hub is a resource that supports organisations in their horizon-scanning - enabling them to see ahead, identify and anticipate future opportunities and challenges and evaluate how best to respond. The Hub website brings together leading resources on the drivers shaping the world of work and regularly produces and curates original content from a broad range of stakeholders on how organisations can respond and adapt.  The Hub also acts as a forum to generate and inform debate through conversations with leading experts, innovative thinkers and peer-to-peer insight sharing.

Visit our website or follow us on Twitter.

About James Davies

About James Davies

As a founder partner of Lewis Silkin’s employment practice, James has over 30 years’ experience of advising clients on employment issues large and small.

Through his role with the global alliance of employment lawyers, Ius Laboris, James enjoys an international focus to his work, as well as advising organisations on a wide range of domestic employment law issues. He founded the firm's employment practice with Michael Burd in 1992 and has seen it grow to over 150 employment lawyers.

James has written and spoken widely both nationally and internationally on topical issues relating to employment law and the future world of work.

Find out more about James.