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The pandemic has rocked many organizations and business models, upending priorities and plans as business leaders scrambled to navigate a rapidly changing environment. For many organizations this included responding to the social justice movements, shifting to full-time remote staff, and determining how best to support employees’ wellbeing.

Trends That Will Shape Work Coming Years

It would be nice to believe that the coming year will be about stability and getting back to normal. However, the life of work is always changing. We have gone to Harvard Business Review to learn their view of the coming trends [1].

  • Employers will shift from managing the employee experience to managing the life experience of their employees.
  • More companies will adopt stances on current societal and political debates
  • The gender wage gap will continue to increase as employees return to the office.
  • New regulations will limit employee monitoring.
  • Flexibility will shift from location to time.
  • Mental health support is the new normal.
  • Employers will look to “rent” talent to fill the skills gap.
  • States will compete to attract individual talent rather than trying to get companies to relocate.

The mix of occupations may change in the coming years.

We can expect a fall on workers in food service and customer sales and service roles, as well as less-skilled office support roles. Jobs in warehousing and transportation may increase as a result of the growth in e-commerce and the delivery economy, but those increases are unlikely to offset the disruption of many low-wage jobs. Demand for workers in the healthcare and STEM occupations may grow more, reflecting increased attention to health as populations age and incomes rise as well as the growing need for people who can create, deploy, and maintain new technologies [2]

Embracing new work and social realities

With people risks mounting for employers as they seek to drive transformation efforts with a depleted workforce, re-examining a more humanistic work model through good work standards can drive positive change for individuals, businesses, investors, customers, and communities. Worl Economic Forum is pointing out five new work and social realities for the coming years [3]:

  • Rising gaps in health and wealth outcomes
  • Reinforced primacy of wellbeing at work
  • Reconsidering work, worker & workplaces and supply chain
  • Reskilling and upskilling to survive and thrive
  • Resilience will mean intentional collaboration


Changes in technology, economic contexts, workforces, and the institutions of work have created changes since before the first industrial revolution. Yet, many argue that the changes we are currently facing are different and that the rise of digitalized production will entirely transform our ways and views of work. The change in the work will always be there.


[1] Brian Kropp: 9 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2021 and Beyond, Harvard Business Review, January 14, 2021

[2] McKinsey Insights, The future of work after COVID-19, February 18, 2021

[3] Padma Ramanathan and Kate Bravery  The future of work is here. Standards need to keep up. World Economic Forum, 02 Jun 2021

Lucubrate Magazine October 2021

The picture at the top of the article: Adobe Stock

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Lucubrate Magazine
Lucubrate Magazine

Lucubrate Magazine highlights trends in education and development. Development in this context can be technological, educational, individual, social or global, and everything related to education.
Lucubrate Magazine is a global based on the web magazine with the main office in Norway.

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