In the blue world, capitalism reigns supreme, it's where bigger is better.
Organisations see their size and influence as the best way to protect their profit margins against intense competition from their peers and aggressive new market entrants.
Corporations grow to such a scale, and exert such influence, that some become more powerful and larger than national economies. It's a world where individual preferences take precedent over social responsibility.
“The gap between the rich and the poor. Either people will have a high paying job or no job at all.”
It's a world of extreme talent. Exceptional people are in high demand, so employers secure a core group of pivotal high-performers by offering excellent rewards. But workforces are lean and organisations bringing in flexible talent and skills as and when they're needed.
Human effort is maximised through sophisticated use of physical and medical enhancement techniques and technology, and along with automation, analytics and innovation, push performance in the workplace to its limits. Workers' performance is continually measured and analysed enabling a new breed of elite super-workers.
In this world, a corporate career divides the haves and have-nots.
Extensive use of automation and AI enhance productivity and quality, but humans are still in demand.
Human effort is maximised through the use of physical and medical enhancements. And sensors and data analytics continually measure, analyse and optimise performance at every step.
Rewards in this world are high, but the price workers pay is their data. Data is used to predict performance and anticipate people risk.
The Future of Work: In their own words
“I wake up thankful every day for my job – most of my friends are independent workers and I see how they live with the uncertainty of where the next paycheque is coming from. I’ve worked for Global Solutions since 2023– the Head of Future Talent spent a week at my school in Delhi and picked out three of us to join their sponsorship programme. It’s been hard work but I’ve come out of it with a respected qualification and experience of working on four continents.
My mother always encouraged me from an early age to aim for a solid career with a good employer – I think she saw the changes in the job market as automation was beginning to have an impact around the time I was born and wanted stability for me. I was aiming for a moving target, of course – my employer didn’t exist when I was born – but it’s worked out. None of us rest on our laurels though – I know that there are thousands of people who would jump into my job in a heartbeat.
Some of my team are based in Indonesia so my days typically start early – the rule is that before 7am they can video-call me at home. Between 7 and 7.30 I take my meds – I’m helping the company trial a new drug at the moment that maximises the efficiency of my sleep patterns – and check in online with work.
I usually take a quick look at my Life Lab – my implant uploads my heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns and full blood results several times a day. Good results feed into our performance bonuses so I’m always careful to look after myself. I feel better too, of course.
Work likes us to be onsite whenever possible as the Life Lab shows our core team’s synaptic output improves when we are physically together. Generally, every week I select a few independents from our database to fill in the specialist gaps for particular projects – there’s always an excellent group to choose from.
It’s an interesting, challenging job we’re very well looked after – the company’s medical care and research programme is second to none, and we get free travel with the group’s auto-cab fleet and airline – we don’t need to provide ID or anything, our implant gives us instant access. And I feel that I’m constantly stretching myself and as a company, we’re constantly stretching what the human race can achieve. It’s an exciting place to be.”
All companies, individuals and products described in our Visions of the Future and Road to 2030 sections are entirely illustrative and bear no relation to any real-life examples.
Partner, Joint Global Leader, People & Organisation, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 77 3987 4275
Joint Global Leader, People and Organization, Principal, PwC United States
Tel: +1 (646) 471 2377
Director, Workforce of the Future research programme, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 77 1016 9938