Just 20 years into the 21st century, we have already seen remarkable changes that we could never have anticipated. We've come up with 20 predictions that explore what the next 20 years may have in store for your organization.

Imagine a work world in which employees are more empowered and have a greater say in their workplace culture, hours, and place of work. A world in which employers will attract the best talent and innovate, and teams from all over the globe will collaborate through the use of technology. That world will be a reality in the next 20 years.

In 20 years, employees will demand that their work efforts have a clear impact on the business and employers will value social purpose as an organizational strategy.

The workplace will be revolutionized

By 2041, employees see that their efforts have a clear impact on the business and society as a whole. Employers will be transparent and ensure their broader strategy encompasses a social purpose and employees will get a say in workplace culture and strategic direction. Businesses will become less hierarchical; flatter structures will become the norm, regardless of the organization's size.

Innovation and agility will be key to competitiveness, leading firms to assemble teams based on appropriate skills and experience for short-term problem solving on projects. For the millennial generation, ultra-flexible work will be commonplace. Employees will work remotely, to highly flexible schedules, and pursue ideas such as compressed work weeks and job sharing.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets—and even contact lens-type interfaces and holograms—will help deliver the benefits of teamwork to remote, distributed workforces. Team members with many organizations will be in different locations worldwide, but they will continue to interact as if they were in the same place. This will make it possible for researchers worldwide to work on scientific experiments virtually and develop the next big discovery.

At the same time, lower cost cities will grow as hubs for localized co-working spaces that will allow teams to collaborate in person.

The rise of flexible, contract and task-based work will mean the end of traditional role clarity and a dismantling of career pathways. Businesses will identify the skills they need for particular projects—and ensure that individuals know where to find job opportunities. The greater voice that employees will have in organizations will ensure that workers and employers are better matched.


Predictions pulse

Trends, breakthroughs, milestones, and insights on our path towards revolutionizing the work environment.


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