Drivers of change

Part 1 – Eight drivers of change: Overview


Part 1 of the report identifies eight interconnected drivers accelerating unprecedented changes in society and work. This Part 1 of the report also considers how the eight drivers of change will influence the how, how much, what, where, who, when, from where and why of work.

Covid-19 is a new phenomenon that was unforeseen, at least by most people. Technology and sustainability have been driving change for some time, but their significance is accelerating at pace. The other drivers – demographics, globalisation, the role of the state, migration, and social trends – have been underlying factors in generating change for some time and are continuing to shape the future, including the future of work.

The world of work is continually evolving. Looking back to the early 1960s, most workplaces looked very different. The world of work was based on gender-stereotypical occupations and a lack of diversity, typified by white men employed in factories 9am to 5pm five days a week. Since then, the number of economically active women has doubled and the numbers employed in manufacturing and construction have reduced from 40% to 15% of the workforce, while the self-employed relative to the employed have also roughly doubled. Individual employment rights, including discrimination laws, were only introduced during the intervening years.