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Futurist Jeff Schwartz discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and technological developments on the future of work, in an hour-long conversation with fellow futurist Jacob Morgan. Schwartz draws from Deloitte trends research to reveal the ways leaders are responding to the shifts of 2020, and recommends new mind-sets and priorities to help leaders and workers alike make the most of the opportunities of 2021. 

Summary

The COVID-19 crisis significantly accelerated the future of work.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts to society and the economy hit a fast-forward button on the future of work. Trends that futurists thought would take years to play out instead occurred in weeks. In many cases, changes occurred by a factor of 10: For example, the workforce went from 5% working remotely to 50%, and telemedicine visits shot up 10-fold. The events of 2020 also imposed experimentation on organizations, revealing their levels of adaptability and demonstrating the importance of combining people and technology on highly collaborative superteams.

During the pandemic crisis, job descriptions and prior agreements – what people and organizations were hired to do – mattered less than their potential: what they could do or wanted to do. As a result of the shifts that took place during 2020 in work, the workplace and the workforce, the future of work is entering a new chapter. Now, leaders will build on the shifts of 2020, make them central and implement them at scale. New ways of working, employment models and technologies will become normal, and their impact will become clear.

About the Speakers

Jeff Schwartz is the Future of Work Leader at Deloitte and author of Work Disrupted: Opportunity, Resilience, and Growth in the Accelerated Future of Work. Jacob Morgan is a TED and keynote speaker, futurist and creator of FutureofWorkUniversity.com. His books include The Future Leader: 9 Skills and Mindsets to Succeed in the Next Decade.


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