How to prepare for the future of work

4 min | 20 March 2023

Rebecca Chuks
Rebecca Chuks

When we gaze ahead at the coming years, it’s clear our working lives will transform – even more than they already have. Though the scale of change may be a scary prospect, there are plenty of elements we can look forward to. How can we embrace the future of work and get the most out of it?

The ‘future of work’ is a term that’s thrown around a lot lately. It covers everything from our attitudes towards work and companies, how we actually ‘show up’ to do our jobs, to the very nature of the work we’ll be doing.

Planning for the future has always been a consideration for CEOs and employees alike, but now there’s a whole new edge of uncertainty, with technology developing at speeds we can scarcely keep up with, and world events fundamentally changing how we work and live.

In short, every way that we as people change, along with all the ways that the world changes – so too will our work lives change, along with the way companies operate.

Theory is one thing but how might that look in practice? The biggest changes fall under a few umbrellas:

Flexible working

4-day work weeks, flexible hours, and remote and hybrid working could all become the norm.

New technology

We’ve seen how virtual online meetings have developed these past few years. Now, we can anticipate the growth of virtual collaborative spaces that will always be available. When we add the metaverse to the mix, the possibilities become even greater.

Our approach to employment

The great resignation, the rise of quiet quitting, along with the side-hustle economy may lead to a cultural perspective shift on what ‘a safe job’ means. More people are creating 'portfolio careers', and companies may continue to hire more contractors and freelancers.

The future is now

It seems like the future of work has already begun. In February 2022, 84% of UK workers said they intended to continue working in a hybrid style (part remote, part workplace) after pandemic constraints were lifted. Countless companies across the globe have successfully trialled and adopted 4-day work weeks. As of January 2023 there are around 4.3 million self-employed workers in the UK. So, what better time than right now to explore exactly how we can make the most of what’s to come?

Future-focused work life

Whether they like it or not brands and corporations may simply have to accept the shifts that are coming, not only to maintain their workforce, but also to attract the best talent. And if you’re that talent, then you might get to cherry-pick the perks that best suit you. Fully remote work? The latest tech? A shorter condensed working week with full-time pay? In your next job search, it makes sense to shortlist the future-focused benefits you’d most value and bake them into your negotiations.

The same goes for the role you’re already in. If you've been thinking about adopting some future-focused changes, performance reviews and salary discussions are ideal times to state your case – particularly if these adjustments will help you maintain or improve your output.

Lastly, it may be time to consider a portfolio career. A co-founder of The Portfolio Collective (Opens in new window) (a platform dedicated to supporting portfolio professionals) put it this way: “A portfolio career involves monetising your skills in many ways and having multiple income sources, rather than a single job at one company. Since the pandemic, demand for outsourced work is growing fast in both volume and variety. Filling permanent roles has become more difficult, which is why fractional and interim roles are growing in popularity.”

She continues, “With industries being reinvented everywhere, portfolio careers could potentially give professionals much better financial security. By not putting all your eggs in one basket, you’re safeguarding yourself against the major financial risk that losing your main gig can bring.”

Of course, you have to weigh all that up against the traditional route, where you have one main job that's likely to give you holiday pay, sickness pay, and a raft of other benefits that may not be available (or provide the same coverage), for part-time roles or contract work.

It’s clear that the future is hurtling its way towards us. Rather than just bracing for it, now’s the perfect time to reach in and grab hold of what you'd like yours to be.

Whatever you decide to do, look after your money, for example you could open an easy-access saver account with Chase1 and start saving with as little as you like.

118+, UK residents. A Chase current account is required to open a saver account. T&Cs apply

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