Predicting The Outcome Of The Battle Between Employees And Employers Over Flexibility At Work

This article offers readers a look at the emerging landscape of work.  Based on the predictions found in “Working in the Twenty-First Century” by Michael Moynagh and Richard Worsley, and the findings of the United Kingdom’s Economics and Social Research Council, the analysis is based upon the evidence of existing trends, not speculation about as yet undiscovered technologies or social changes.  As such there are few surprises and a dearth of spectacular speculations.  Among the findings:

  • The 1990s vision of a workforce populated by greater numbers of freelancers and self-employed executives is contradicted here – employer-employee relationships remain largely unchanged, with full-time employment the norm.  The prediction: this pattern will continue, with workers wanting stable employment for financial reasons and employers wanting a stable workforce.
  •  Flexibility will increase, but largely within the context of permanent jobs.  It will take the form of teleworking, job sharing and flexible hours and will remain driven by market and employer needs.

Source: Richard Donkin, Financial Times: Surveys Edition (London); Aug 11, 2005

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