The key dimensions of work — the who, what, when and where — are changing rapidly because of advances in technology, flexible work models and alternative sources of talent. Our Dynamics of Work Survey reveals that organizations that prepare for and manage people, business and operational risks are better positioned to capture the upside potential of work transformation.
The increasing frequency and magnitude of economic, social, political and environmental disruptions along with rapid advances in artificial intelligence are affecting how and where work gets done. Furthermore, employees’ expectations of work are changing as labor supply growth declines in most geographies, technology offers more choice and social media amplifies grievances. Additionally, greater transparency in areas such as pay helps workers make informed employment choices. To sustain new ways of working, leaders need to anticipate the downstream consequences of their decisions and proactively manage the risks while capturing the opportunities.
Organizations expect to make changes in three key areas to improve productivity and better manage the cost of work while meeting the changing expectations of the labor force: 1) offering greater flexibility in when and where people do their work, 2) increasing the use of technology and automation, and 3) tapping alternative sources of talent.
Increased flexibility in working conditions. In three years, organizations expect that over half of their employees (55%) will be working hybrid or fully remote, up from 14% three years ago.
Our 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey — which explores the sentiments of workers regarding benefits and work/leave policies — shows that flexible work ranked among the top three benefits that employees globally want employers to focus on. Offering more flexibility around where and when work gets done will also help support employees with caregiving responsibilities, disabilities and, chronic health conditions and, in general, further the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) agenda.
Automation and digitalization. In the four out of five companies (80%) expecting to use automation in three years, the percentage of work completed by automation is expected to increase to 35%. This is almost twice as much as the 18% of all work completed by automation three years ago.
As organizations balance talent and technology for performing work, they will need to reskill and upskill certain segments of their workforce, deploy talent based on skills and redesign their career frameworks to enable new ways of working.
Alternative sources of talent. Over half of organizations (52%) expect to see opportunities to create value by making better use of new sources of talent. This will involve increasing talent sources by expanding an organization’s geographic reach through remote work, entering new talent markets or making greater use of contingent talent.
Access the full report to explore the actions organizations are taking to prepare for the changing dynamics of work.
A total of 720 respondents participated in the 2023 Dynamics of Work Survey, which was conducted in January and February. Respondents employ 8.6 million employees.
Respondents by region