From the individual 9-to-5 workday to how entire industries function, work is changing faster than ever. Big shifts threaten to create massive societal and economic disruption unless we look seriously at making the future of work productive and rewarding for everyone.
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What images does “the future of work�? conjure up for you? In his 1930 essay, Economic possibilities for our grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes foretold a future of “technological unemployment�? and 15-hour workweeks.1 We’ve long since given up on early 20th-century utopian visions of a leisure society in which machines do almost everything for us. But there’s no question that what we actually do these days is changing fast, and will continue to change.
The future of work is unfolding rapidly. Today, none of these constituencies—individuals, businesses, public institutions—is prepared for the potentially turbulent and painful transition and possibilities ahead. The goal of this framework is to inform and motivate individuals, various forms of organizations, and public policy makers to proactively navigate the future of work and to come together and act now to make the transition as positive, productive, and smooth as possible.
Every constituency needs a plan, today, for how to prepare to address the impact of these forces and their effect on the redesign of work and jobs: