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Glossary

Future of Work

The “Future of Work” attempts to draw the contours of the working world of tomorrow by focusing on the major transformations of organisations, the evolution of job roles, new ways of working (organisation of offices, remote working, etc.), the renewal of leadership and the new aspirations of employees. It’s a global study on the current and future composition of the world of work.

Future of Work: a global approach to changes in the world of work

“Future of Work”, “work of tomorrow”, “enterprise of tomorrow”: all these expressions refer to the major changes which mark and transform the world of work in its organisational, managerial and workforce components… The expression “Future of Work” existed long before the Covid-19 crisis, but the pandemic gave it a special resonance by accelerating transformations already underway.

The “Future of Work” seeks to understand the transformation of the world of work in a global and transversal way to bring out the new realities of the world of work: new forms and new models of organisation (linked in particular to the impact of digitisation), managerial innovation, necessary adaptability, collaboration, aspiration to independence…

Moving towards a requalification of jobs and skills

According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) , by 2030, approximately 17 million workers will be required to change jobs in the United States. And the trend is worldwide. In the next ten years or so, the skills required of workers will therefore change profoundly, in all sectors. With the automation of tasks and production processes, robotics used at all levels, manual and physical labor will be less and less in demand.

Conversely, skills in the field of digital and new technologies will experience (and are already experiencing) a meteoric rise: skills in programming, data analysis, mastery of cybersecurity, etc.

In this context of permanent development, social and emotional skills (“soft skills”) will also be particularly sought after. The stance of an employee and his ability to cope will count as much (if not more) than “traditional” skills, expertise and know-how.

A digital… and environmental revolution

Technological developments occupy a large place in discussions around the “Future of Work” (digitisation of the work environment, digital transformation of companies, remote work, etc.). It is also recognised that companies having implemented a strategy which integrates the question of “digital workplace” obtain better productivity and better agility than others, because they have been able to create a new workspace that benefits both employees and the company.

However, the revolution that the world of work is currently experiencing is not only technological, it is also environmental. The growing weight behind green finance, to take into account Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues, the development of “green IT”… requires companies to transform their models to make them more responsible, virtuous and resilient. The companies based on these models are also those that have best withstood the Covid-19 health crisis.

The company of the future: a digital enterprise, a hybrid enterprise

The “Future of Work” work environment is and will remain resolutely digital, innovative, accessible remotely and permanently. Are physical workspaces doomed to disappear? Probably not. The massive switch to working from home and the popularization of “fully remote” work will not necessarily spell the end of traditional organisations. Companies are made up of men and women who have confirmed their need to meet face-to-face, to maintain connections.

The efficiency of home working employees is confirmed and the hybrid work environment is on the way to becoming a new standard. According to   a Boston Consulting Group / Cadremploi study, 78% of French workers aspire to evolve into a hybrid organisational model, allowing them to combine office and home working. The organisations of tomorrow will therefore have to combine physical and digital environments, to the point of wanting to free themselves from the constraints of time and space. The question of cybersecurity will become particularly pertinent. 

New aspirations of employees

The reflection around the “Future of Work” also takes into account the personal aspirations of employees (search for meaning, need for recognition, alignment between personal values and those of the company, development of entrepreneurship, etc.).

The health crisis has put employees on the “front line” center stage. In doing so, it has led millions of people to ask themselves an essential question: is my work useful to society? Is it essential? While some employees are considering sometimes radical retraining to escape their “bullshit job”, others point to strong needs in terms of autonomy, personal development and responsibility. As for Generation Z (about 30% of the world’s population), it rejects traditional and vertical modes of organisation, it aspires to take part in strategic decisions, while seeking flexibility. New power relations are established, a strong demand for freedom is heard; companies have no other choice but to answer them, it is necessary or they face seeing their top talents fly away.

Meeting the challenges of the “Future of Work”: how to mobilise your leadership?

One thing is certain: the revolution in the world of work is still in its infancy. By 2030, the impact of the changes currently underway on the evolution of jobs, digitisation and working conditions will be immense. How to keep your footing as a leader? By appealing to strategic leadership, by defining long-term objectives of the company to enable it to function regardless of the context and the obstacles, and therefore to become resilient. This strategic vision of the company must create value for the organisation, shareholders and stakeholders, “society” in the broad sense… while taking into account the new aspirations of employee participation and the new expectations of consumers. “A balancing act”, some will say; “flexibility and adaptability”, others will say.

Other imperatives: develop their ability to adapt to recognise these new realities as opportunities, take advantage of executive education to strengthen their professional skills base and their ability to evolve in an uncertain world. With the “Future of Work”, everything is a question of balance between “hard skills” and “soft skills”. 

Neoma BS and the “Future of Work”  

 The Global Executive MBA of NEOMA bases its teachings specifically in these new trends, under the impetus of the members of its community. Professors, speakers, participants and graduates evolve there in a spirit of co-working and mutual enrichment.

One of the 4 Poles of Excellence of Neoma Business School is dedicated to research on the “Future of Work”. This pole analyses major changes in the socio-technological environment and the way in which they impact work and organisations.

Research on the theme of the “Future of Work” is organised around 4 sub-topics:

  • The leadership of tomorrow and new forms of leadership
  • The future of jobs and working conditions
  • The future of the organisation and the new locations and times of working
  • Knowledge of the future and new teaching methods
 More information on the Neoma BS Pole of Excellence The “Future of Work”