Episode No. 84
  •  April 20, 2022

Are You Ready For The Future Of Work?

Two women clink glasses and "cheers" to the future of work, which is predicted to be more humane and human-centered

The post pandemic workplace is predicted to look very different from that of the past. With changes to our lives, our shifting priorities, the low unemployment rate, and the different expectations we have of our jobs, workers are driving change at a rapid rate.  In this episode, we explore a new study that reveals the data that will likely shape our workplaces into the future. 


We know that work is changing.  58% of workers feel the pandemic forced them to rethink work-life balance and 25% of workers have changed jobs.  According to a new report from Bain and Company, the new workplace is driving a significant change in the balance of power between employees and companies – and leaders are rethinking their approach to talent.

Bain & Company engaged in an in-depth research project to help us define the broader implications of the future of work and identified five key themes that will reshape work into the future.

Motivations for work are changing – the reasons we go to work are changing.  With the decline in social institutions such as churches and social clubs, people are increasingly seeking out social connection at work.  As countries become more prosperous, the importance of leisure activities rises.  And of course – people are looking for meaning and a sense of higher purpose, including a commitment to 

Beliefs about what makes a good job are changing –  Bain & Company identified 10 dimensions of a job – and the dimensions are those factors folks consider in determining what makes a good job.  These are factors such as how much of identity comes from work, how important status is, our financial motivation,  autonomy, camaraderie, future orientation, variety, mystery and ability to make a difference.  These dimensions led Bain & Company to conclude that while we are all different – there are six meta categories of workers: Operators, Givers, Artisans, Explorers, Strivers, and Pioneers. 

Automation is rehumanizing word, which we see in automation, the ability of the internet to do our work for us and in new processes and technologies to make work easier.  

Technological change is blurring boundaries of the firm in that we are almost always available to work and always always available to our personal lives.  

Younger workers are increasingly overwhelmed.  Younger workers have been exposed to political polarization, geopolitical tensions, and concerns about climate change, not to mention a pandemic. 

And then our hosts take us through the best part of the study and report – so what?  Bain & Company suggests that this means that employers get better at being talent makers as opposed to talent takers – which means more focus and investment in learning and a growth mindset.  Employers will also need to stop managing workers like machines and manage for individuals.  This means a greater focus on mental health and recognizing that mental health is a key component of overall worker health.  Lastly, Bain & Company believes that successful firms will build an organization that offers a sense of belonging and opportunity for its many unique workers while remaining united through a shared vision and communal values.  As workers, Crina and Kirsten believe recognizing what archetype we each are and what we need from work, engaging in ways to boost our understanding and experience with tech are both important for the worker.  Oh – yeah – and they suggest being crazy kind to yourself because the world is bat shit crazy.

The Working Future: More Human, Not Less | Bain & Company