Exploring the Future of Work: Insights from Deloitte, McKinsey, World Economic Forum

The world of work is rapidly changing, with the rise of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) transforming the way we work. To better understand this evolving landscape, the World Economic Forum (WEF), Deloitte, and McKinsey have all produced studies on the future of work. While each report offers unique insights, they share a common thread: the future of work is one of constant change and adaptation, with significant implications for employees and employers alike.

The WEF’s report, “The Future of Jobs,” highlights the impact of technological disruption on the job market. According to the report, up to 85 million jobs may be displaced by automation by 2025. While the report emphasizes the need for reskilling and upskilling, it also notes that the pace of technological change may outstrip the ability of workers to adapt. The report calls for a coordinated response from governments, businesses, and workers to ensure that the benefits of technological innovation are shared widely and equitably.

Similarly, Deloitte’s report, “The Future of Work: Redefining Work, Workforces, and Workplaces,” emphasizes the importance of adaptability in the face of technological disruption. The report notes that organizations must be agile and flexible, with the ability to quickly pivot in response to changing market conditions. It also highlights the importance of employee well-being, calling for organizations to prioritize the mental and emotional health of their workers in the face of increasing workloads and demands.

Finally, McKinsey’s report, “The Future of Work After COVID-19,” offers insights into the impact of the pandemic on the world of work. The report notes that the pandemic has accelerated existing trends towards remote work and digitization, with significant implications for the labor market. While the report notes that remote work can offer benefits such as increased flexibility and reduced commuting time, it also highlights the need for organizations to address the social and emotional isolation that can come with remote work.

In our previous blog report dated June 2022, we discussed the topic of the future of work and the role of technology and people in shaping it. The report highlighted the growing trend of remote work and the increasing use of technology in the workplace, but also emphasized the importance of human skills such as creativity, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. 

The report also pointed out that while technology can improve productivity and efficiency, it can also lead to job displacement and a need for upskilling and reskilling. Overall, the report concluded that a balance between technology and human skills is crucial for the future of work.

Importance of adaptability and reskilling

This and all three reports share a common vision of the future of work as one characterized by rapid change and disruption. They also highlight the importance of adaptability and reskilling, both for individuals and organizations. As the job market continues to evolve, workers must be prepared to learn new skills and adapt to new technologies in order to remain competitive.

At the same time, the reports also emphasize the importance of equity and well-being. While technological innovation can offer many benefits, it can also exacerbate existing inequalities and lead to burnout and stress. Organizations must prioritize the well-being of their workers and ensure that the benefits of technological innovation are shared widely and equitably.

Playing catch-up

The future of work is rapidly evolving and these reports from the World Economic Forum, McKinsey, and Deloitte provide valuable insights into what we can expect in the coming years. The World Economic Forum report, published in 2023, highlights the importance of re-skilling and upskilling for employees to prepare for the changing nature of work. 

Meanwhile, McKinsey’s report from 2021 emphasizes the need for companies to invest in digital transformation and new technologies to stay competitive. Deloitte’s report from 2019 focuses on the need for organizations to redefine work, workforces, and workplaces to adapt to the changing nature of work.

Despite their different focuses and publication dates, all three reports highlight the need for individuals, organizations, and governments to proactively address the challenges and opportunities presented by the future of work. 

With the rapid pace of technological advancement and shifting economic and social trends, it is essential that we remain adaptable and open to change. By embracing new technologies, upskilling and reskilling workers, and redefining the way we work and organize our workplaces, we can create a future of work that is more equitable, productive, and fulfilling for all.

Key takeaways

One of the key takeaways that global mobility specialists should learn more about from all three reports is the increasing importance of technology and digital skills in the future of work. 

As automation and artificial intelligence continue to disrupt industries and job markets, workers will need to adapt and acquire new skills to remain competitive. The World Economic Forum report highlights the importance of reskilling and upskilling programs to help workers transition to new roles and industries. 

McKinsey’s report emphasizes the need for workers to develop digital and cognitive abilities, such as complex problem-solving and critical thinking. 

Deloitte’s report stresses the importance of building a diverse and inclusive workforce, which can help companies better understand and serve the needs of a changing customer base.