future of work reportResearchers at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have released an imaginative report, entitled The Future of Work: A Journey to 2022, which endeavors to study where employers, employees and HR professionals think the work is headed over the next eight years. The report breaks out three types of emerging companies: big ones with lots of internal controls, dubbed “blue”; environmentally conscious ones, dubbed “green” ;and an orange category of smaller, faster, looser companies that are primed to break the mold of the traditional corporate image.

PwC shares several major predictions and says that the forces of individualism and collectivism will cause the Big Three Colors to emerge. Specifically defined:

Blue—“Large corporates turning into mini-states and taking on a prominent role in society;”

Orange—“Specialization creating the rise of collaborative networks;”

Green—“The social and environmental agenda forcing fundamental changes to business strategy.”

“Most organizations are likely to be a mix of all three worlds of work,” the report says. “The emergence of these three worlds is going to create fresh challenges for HR. Organizations currently grapple with the realities of skills shortages, managing people through change and creating an effective workforce. By 2022, the radical change in business models will mean that companies will be facing further issues such as:

  • The need to create ever more sophisticated people measurement techniques to monitor and control performance and productivity.
  • Increasing importance of social capital and relationships as the drivers of business success.
  • The boundary between work and personal life disappearing as companies assume greater responsibility for the social welfare of their employees.”

PwC indicated that many employees will be willing to trade privacy at work for job security. For example, the study says that workers will let employers snoop all over their social media activity if they get better security. With this knowledge of their workers, the study says, employers will be able to more readily keep top performers and attract new ones. Workers will be more individually treated, evaluated and rewarded, with the goal being a more loyal and productive workforce.

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