Hey, nobody can really tell what the future holds. But if it’s anything like what HR pros predicted in a recent report, both employers and employees will have lots of adjustments to make.
The consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) just published a report titled The Future of Work: A Journey to 2022, which was based on interviews with 500 HR experts in the U.S. as well as several other countries.
And the results of that report paint a sort-of-surreal image of corporate life in the next decade. Some of the highlights:
Constant monitoring, survival of the fittest
Finding #1: Employers will take a Big Brother approach to workers’ personal lives and health. In recent years, we’ve seen many employers trying to get their workers to live healthier lives in an effort to ward off chronic conditions and, ultimately, reduce health claims costs. PwC predicted that this tactic will increase exponentially.
In fact, many employers will monitor their workers — inside and outside the office — like “lab rats.” As the study puts it: “The monitoring may even stretch into [employees’] private lives in an extension of today’s drug tests.” The report did note that the degree of monitoring would likely be dictated by the amount of worker resistance at a company.
Finding #2: Pay-for-performance will become an exact and complex science. The idea of doling out the lion’s share of your salary-increase budget to top performers is nothing new. However, by 2022, the study predicated that employers will use the types of data-mining techniques used by corporate giants like Amazon to create performance profiles for workers based on hundreds of pieces of data.
Finding #3: Independent contractors (ICs) will replace full-time employees. If you thought ICs were popular now, you haven’t seen anything yet — at least that’s what the study predicts. The report said an increasing number of “traditionalists” will adjust to what PwC calls a “portfolio career” and benefit in a number of ways.
The report envisioned ICs being chosen via eBay-style ratings based on the previous clients of the contractors. The report also said that contractor work would be a way for individuals to avoid the round-the-clock, Big-Brother-esque surveillance it predicted for full-time employees by their employers.