For all the cultural shifts affecting our workplaces today, some things are certain: we will all have to work for longer than our parents did. As automation expands, the nature of the work available will change, as will the skills required to do it.
What, when and how we learn will need to change dramatically to meet the demands of an unsettled labour market. Added to this, 2020 accelerated the shift to flexible and home-based working, and it finally became urgent for all companies to prioritise improved employee wellbeing, diversity and inclusion. What does the future of work really look like?
Got an access code?
Head here and enter it to claim your free ticket.
How it works
Your ticket will give you access to all of the sessions, but just like an in-person conference you can dip in and out. Recordings will be available in our members’ app the next day.
Interested in supporting this Summit?
More experts to be announced soon
Can Covid help solve Britain’s productivity crisis?
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Between 1997 and 2018 the UK shifted from having one of the highest productivity growth rates in the G7 to one of the lowest. Stark regional differences in productivity have emerged, with cities steaming ahead while smaller towns, rural areas and coastal regions fall behind. Is unlocking the UK’s productivity key to returning to growth post Covid? What exactly can policymakers and the private sector do to fix it? Does Covid itself provide an opportunity to boost productivity, as workers move out of big cities and forgo business travel? Or is more radical thinking necessary to level up regional inequalities in skills, education and infrastructure?
Upskilling at scale: great in theory, but can it be done?
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Automation already represented a challenge to employment and productivity, even before the pandemic. The need to find practical, scalable ways to upskill, retrain and adapt – individually, organisationally and socially – has only become more pressing. Where are there proven models that give us a serious chance of closing the skills gap, and unlocking everyone’s potential over the next decade? How do we scale what we already know works, as well as find capacity to experiment with new options?
The office is dead, long live the office: what does a ‘people first’ way of working look like?
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
The toe-curling accuracy of The Office and W1A made them almost unwatchable for many office workers – the silly jargon, the forced fun, the grinding commute, the nasty coffee. Since lockdown, we’ve learned that for most office-based jobs, working-from-home is … OK. Not perfect, not terrible. But ‘OK’ isn’t good enough in a competitive market for talent. Business leaders now need to design ‘people first’ working cultures – and quickly. It’s alarmingly complex. The solution demands thinking that goes way beyond where people work. How do you optimise collaboration, productivity and wellbeing across the workforce? How do you make it fair, transparent, and inclusive? Does it need to cost the earth? How do you shift from managing people’s time, to managing their energy? And what happens to that elusive, magic ingredient we used to call ‘culture’?
The new intergenerational workplace: what needs to change?
Millennial workers have completely different expectations from previous generations – total flexibility, frequent sabbaticals, portfolio careers and fast-track promotions. According to EY, fewer than ten per cent of “quality jobs” (full-time, permanent roles with salaries of over £20,000) are advertised with options for flexible work, most still operate with the same basic contractual package as 30 years ago – pension, holiday, working hours, 1:1 commitment. Meanwhile, one third of the workforce will be over 50 by 2020; while due to decades of low birthrates, only 21 per cent of the European population was aged under 20 in 2018. If we take it as read that a more diverse workforce makes for a more successful company, how radical do employers need to be to prepare for the next 25 years of talent recruitment and retention?
Striking ahead: who will hold the power – employer or employee?
There’s a growing marketplace for enhanced employment rights as companies battle to keep talent – from offering menstruation and menopause leave, paid leave for those experiencing domestic violence, to “pawternity leave” for your new pet. But beyond the headline-grabbing benefits, reports of corporate surveillance technology being used to track and listen to workers’ conversations are on the rise. The gig economy, and zero-hours contract work, continue to take advantage of loopholes in employment law. Then there’s the unregistered workers and the thousands of calls to the modern slavery helpline each year. Many felt that the unions’ heyday had past – but this year has already seen the formation of a Google workers union, and Amazon warehouse employees may follow. Where does the balance of power lie in the new battle over rights and responsibilities at work?
Timings and sessions subject to change.