An intriguing vision of the UK’s future workforce emerged from a raft of research published last week.
It appears that in 20 years’ time, we will be employing more women, more older people, more migrants – and possibly even holograms.
A study by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) warned that employers needed to better cater for the changing workforce. Its study, Management Futures, found that two-thirds of 1,000 employees surveyed believed work teams would become more multi-generational.
A spokesman said: “HR needs to develop ‘softer’ skills [such as being flexible or creative] to meet the needs of mixing generation Y with baby boomers and to develop workforces that are working more remotely and across borders.”
However, professional services firm KPMG warned that once baby boomers left the workforce, the smaller number of younger staff taking their place would lead to a ‘demographic fault line’. It said a much greater flow of labour from overseas would be needed to compensate.
Bernard Salt, a partner with KPMG in Australia and primary author of the report, said: “Without a surge in the annual intake of working-age migrants there will be a slow-down, if not a contraction, in the pool from which the labour force is drawn by the middle of the next decade in the UK.”
And much of this migrant influx is likely to be female. Microsoft research revealed that right-brain thinking – allegedly more prevalent in females and often using skills like flexibility and lateral thinking – would dominate business over the next 25 years.
Microsoft mobile working expert Jemma Harris said: “As these skills and creativity become the currency for tomorrow’s economy, we’ll see a greater shift towards more equal opportunities for women.”
Finally, some 12% of people surveyed by CMI predicted that companies would implant microchips in employee brains to help them remember information, and a third said holograms would be used to conduct meetings.
It’s the future, but not as we know it.