What might the workplace look like by 2036?

Automation, artificial intelligence, the growth of the informal economy and shifts away from command-and-control power cultures are all trends that are profoundly shaping the workplace. But what will the future workplace look like? Of course, the honest answer is that we don’t really know.

This is why at Forum for the Future, we create scenarios to explore how those trends we are certain about – for example, urbanisation – might interact with uncertain trends, including those surrounding the speed and impact of automation in the workplace.

In order to create our scenarios – in essence, stories of different possible futures, and in this project, specifically created to explore how global trends may change our world and our workplaces in 2036 – we conducted extensive research and interviews with experts on workplace trends around the world. We also created a timeline for each scenario, showing the pathway from 2017 to each of the four future worlds.

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