Part 3 – Eight predictions: Overview


The Report identified and explored eight predictions for changes which would significantly influence the world of work in forthcoming years (see infographic). A year on, James Davies reflects on the extent to which these predictions continue to be valid and the ways in which they are evolving to shape the future landscape of work. In doing so, James identifies eight further predictions which would have profound and lasting impacts on the world of work.

[infographic of eight original predictions]

To a greater or lesser extent, these predictions remain valid. However, a year on from the Report, the world looks very different. Economic and political crises have supplanted the relative optimism of 12 months ago. The focus on “building back better” has been overshadowed by a darker world. Primarily, this was driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which highlighted the lack of resilience and the fragility of our globalised world and economy. Most economies are facing a cost of living crisis, including rates of inflation unseen for decades and exponential rises in energy costs, leading to much higher interest rates. Government debt, raised in many cases to support workers and businesses during the pandemic, is soaring as the state is forced to intervene to protect consumers from crippling energy bills.

Relations between the West and China look likely to deteriorate further. The war in Ukraine shows no sign of resolution and, indeed, threatens unbelievably to lead to nuclear conflict.

In an increasingly politicised world, divisions in society are worsening through increasing inequality and clashes of values. The influence of the views, values and behaviours of the young on the world of work and society as a whole has emerged as a central theme shaping the future of work. This shift in values and priorities will continue to drive significant change.

At the same time, the consequences of climate change are becoming clearer and the need to take remedial steps even more urgent. A world distracted by these economic and political crises is devoting less attention to combatting this threat at just the time when it needs to most.

Collectively, these shifts impact greatly on the world of work. The ways in which current global economic and political difficulties are affecting the world of work have shaped the emphasis of the eight new predictions. Nonetheless, tackling climate change must, and will, resurface as a top priority for government, business and individuals.