Is it time to stop trying to predict an uncertain future of work?

In our latest WORKTECH Wednesday Briefing, we look at a new Autodesk Foundation report which argues that we should move beyond predictions and forecasts to focusing on what workers really want

Do we spend too much time trying to predict an uncertain future of work? That’s the provocative question addressed in a new report looking at how innovators and entrepreneurs can help people adapt to the future employment market as many jobs are automated or off-shored.

The report, produced by the US-based Autodesk Foundation with venture-builder Zinc, which is backed by London School of Economics, is called ‘Unlocking Opportunities for People Hard-Hit by Automation and Globalization’. It examines the positive and negative effects of change, and the inequalities of opportunity that exist between people and places.

‘History has taught us that our predictions about the future are often wrong …’

It recommends that we should spend less time trying to predict the future of work and more time focusing on what workers really want from work. According to the report, ‘History has taught us that our predictions about the future are often wrong. In approaching the complex set of challenges around the future of work, we need to move beyond predictions and forecasts.’

Economic policies, says the report, have been skewed to the needs of consumers, often at the expense of workers’ needs and wellbeing. That approach needs to change. There should also be greater focus on understanding the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of workers to help them to adapt successfully, drawing on the behavioural sciences.

The final recommendation is to ‘embrace experimentation’ by designing and testing new solutions. The report includes a number of case studies showcasing how innovators and entrepreneurs are creating new employment through their ventures. Access the Autodesk Foundation/Zinc report here.

WORKTECH Global is back

Following the success of the virtual WORKTECH Global event in 2020, the series is back for the second time on 15-16 June 2021 with a line-up of international thought leaders from JP Morgan Chase, Accenture, Swiss Post, ASU and Standard Chartered.

Andy Repton of JP Morgan will be discussing how organisations can invest in virtual reality technology and virtual environments to support their future workplace strategies and enhance employee experience. As employees across the world continue to work more flexibly, there has never been a more critical time for blended physical and digital environments, Repton will highlight how large organisations like JP Morgan Chase can implement VR into their organisation to facilitate more hybrid and flexible ways of working.

Over two half-days, the expert speakers will share the latest knowledge, insights and inspiration to help organisations and business leaders successfully shift from pivoting through a crisis to planning more permanent and future-proofed strategies. Download the agenda here and register for the event here.

Cybersecurity and smart buildings

The next WORKTECH webinar on 17 June 2021, in partnership with Schneider Electric, will discuss approaches to implementing smart technology so that it is secure and safe. As the interest in smart buildings has gained momentum during the pandemic, an integrated approach to building services and cybersecurity has become central to the discussion. Join the conversation here as a panel of experts look at the choices and different approaches to smart technology implementation, and the five attributes of a risk-based cybersecurity strategy for smart workplaces of the future. 

The rise of flexible buildings

As flexibility emerges as an essential characteristic of the hybrid working model, flexible buildings are increasingly becoming part of the conversation to complement flexible work patterns, flexible teams and flexible organisations. An upcoming WORKTECH webinar on the 28 June 2021 in partnership with Schneider Electric aims to explore what flexible buildings are and why they are important  An expert panel will discuss a new report co-authored by Schneider Electric and WORKTECH Academy called, ‘Flexible Buildings: Five elements to create buildings ready for the new world of work’. Find out more here.

In our WORKTECH Wednesday Briefings, we reach out to our 10,000-plus Academy members, WORKTECH attendees, speakers, partners and sponsors while WORKTECH’s professional conference series continues through our virtual platforms. This edition is posted 9 June 2021.
Find exclusive content in the


Premium content for Global Partners, Corporate and Community Members.
The latest analysis and commentary on the future of work and workplace in four distinct themes: Research & Insights, Case Studies, Expert Interviews and Trend Publications.