Hr 2020

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Managing tomorrow’s people*
The future of work to 2020


Introduction 2020: where three worlds co-exist Corporate is king: welcome to the Blue World The journey to Blue Life in the Blue World: the main themes Work in the Blue World: the people challenges The Blue HR business model

02 04

Small is beautiful: welcome to the Orange World
The journey to Orange Life in the Orange World: the main themes

18 18 19 22 25 27 27 28 29 30 32

06 06 07 09 10

Work in the Orange World: the people challenges 21 The Orange HR business model

Are you ready for tomorrow’s world? Appendix
Definitions: Scenarios, Millenials Our methodology Global forces PwC Graduate Survey findings

Companies care: welcome to the Green World
The journey to Green Life in the Green World: the main themes Work in the Green World: the people challenges The Green HR business model

12 12 13 15 16


The journey to 2020
At the beginning of 2007, a team from PricewaterhouseCoopers gathered to explore the future of people management. Our thinking was sparked by the rising profile of people issues on the business agenda – the talent crisis, an ageing workforce in the western world, the increase in global worker mobility and the organisational and cultural issues emerging from the dramatic pace of business change in the past decade. We wanted to explore how these issues might evolve and how organisations need to adapt to stay successful. Many studies have attempted to capture a vision of the workplace of the future, but we set out to understand the people challenges that will impact organisations and consequently the implications this will have on the HR function as we know it. Few business thinkers have proposed that the marketing or finance functions might cease to exist in their present forms, but some are starting to say this about HR. With the help of the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilisation at the Said Business School in Oxford, we used ScenariosA1 to think about the future of people management. Our team has identified three possible ‘worlds’ – plausible futures to provide a context in which to examine the way organisations might operate in the future. In addition we surveyed almost 3,000 MillennialsA1 – new graduates from the US, China and the UK who represent a generation just joining the workforce, to test their views and expectations on the future of work. We hope you will help us to encourage debate around this critical topic. It is said that the future is not a place we go to, but one which we create. And while things happen that we cannot predict, we can still be prepared.


Michael Rendell Partner and leader of Human Resource Services PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

A1 – Appendix 1, see appendix page 27

Managing tomorrow’s people Introduction


When we started our research we had some preconceived ideas about tomorrow’s world. Many studies have been undertaken to explore the future of society, the environment, business and even the workplace. Our challenge was to focus explicitly on the business context and the impact on people and work. While we cannot claim to have identified all the possibilities, several strong themes have emerged: • large corporates turning into mini-states and taking on a prominent role in society • specialisation creating the rise of collaborative networks • the environmental agenda forcing fundamental changes to business strategy.

In July 2007, 2,739 graduates from China, the US and the UK told us about their expectations of work. They had all been offered jobs with PwC but had yet to start. Some of the key findings are highlighted throughout this report While some of the findings seem to confirm current received thinking about the future of work, a number of themes defy conventional thinking. PwC is the biggest recruiter of graduates in the UK and a leading global recruiter of graduates. A3

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