The World of Work in 2021: the path to renewal

What are the big challenges and emerging themes for the year in front of us? A new report from WORKTECH Academy and its Global Partners sets out the way forward

In a fragile and uncertain world still struggling with the effects of living and working in the shadow of a global pandemic, organisations in all sectors and at all scales are anxiously scanning the horizon for signs to navigate the new world of work. To provide insight into what’s in store for the future of work in 2021 and beyond, WORKTECH Academy has created a new report with its six Global Partners, The World of Work in 2021.

In ten short essays, we set out the parameters of what Philip Ross, CEO of UnWork and Chairman of WORKTECH Academy, describes as the ‘next normal’ – a root-and-branch shift in how and where work is done. The report examines several critical issues, such as the importance of building social capital inside organisations at a time when remote working is keeping people apart and investing in  enabling technologies that will help reopen offices successfully

The World of Work in 2021 explores the idea of the 15-minute city as a new spatial framework for life and work, creating a more compact and sustainable approach, and evaluates the technologies underpinning the new purpose of the office as a social destination rather than a place for daily, routine attendance. The report maps out design shifts in managing workplace wellbeing post Covid-19, as well as the role that the connected innovations of the Internet of Things (IoT) can play in supporting safety and restoring a semblance of normality to office buildings.

We also look at trends in food delivery, at what the workplace can learn from innovations in the retail sector, and at what the design of temporary urban events  such as markets and pop-ups can teach us about creating collective experiences.

WORKTECH Academy Global Partners Aramark, Condeco, Fourfront Group, Haworth, Signify and Unwork contributed to The World of Work in 2021.

WORKTECH Academy Director Jeremy Myerson, who edited the report, explains: ‘After the shock to the system in 2020,  the global workplace sector is now gearing up to embrace transformational change with an open mind and, in some quarters, an appetite for radical ideas. This report sets out some of the key challenges and opportunities, and we hope it will be a stimulus for new thinking.’

Members of WORKTECH Academy can access The World of Work in 2021 report here.
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