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9 Future of Work Trends for 2024

 By Jordan Turner, a 4-Minute Read 

These nine future work trends will factor into workforce and talent decisions over the next one to five years. 

To succeed in 2024 and beyond, Gartner recommends you evaluate how these trends will impact your organization so you can get ahead of the challenges your organization is bound to experience. 

Theme 1: Shifting EVP 

  • • Four-day workweeks go from radical to routine. A talent shortage is making it more difficult to attract and retain employees, and organizations are evaluating whether shifting toward a condensed workweek will meet growing employee expectations for flexibility as well as the organization's objectives. In fact, 63% of candidates rated “four-day workweek” as the top future of work offering that would attract them to a job. 

  • • The cost of work crisis reaches a breaking point. Employers are mandating remote employees return to the office, but after years at home, these employees now have a sharper awareness of what coming into the office costs — in terms of time and money. Without a resolution regarding who will bear the cost of work and why, return to office will remain contentious. 

  • • Climate change protection becomes the new must-have employee benefit. As severe climate change-related events become more widespread and persistent, organizations will seize the opportunity to make their response and employee support plans more explicit and transparent. 

Theme 2: New manager necessities 

  • • Employee conflict resolution is the next must-have skill for managers. With upcoming elections, geopolitical crises, labour strikes, climate change and pushback to DEI efforts, the environment is ripe for differences of opinion. Managers who manage, rather than silence, interpersonal conflict among employees will have an outsize positive impact on their organizations. 

  • • DEI doesn’t disappear; it becomes the way we work. After a flood of corporate attention in 2020, there has been a growing sense of disillusionment with DEI efforts. Given the leadership commitment to these programs and initiatives, companies will begin to pivot from DEI existing solely in a silo to embedding it throughout the organization. 

Theme 3: The collapse of career assumptions 

  • • Skills overtake degrees as the “paper ceiling” crumbles. College degrees are the top requirement listed in yesterday’s job descriptions. In response to the tight labour market and declining undergraduate graduation rates, organizations are shredding the “paper ceiling” and welcoming workers with alternative credentials. 

  • • Career stereotypes collapse in the face of workforce change. Atypical career paths are going mainstream with rising retirement ages, mid-career breaks, shifts across industries, and embracing contingent work and other non-traditional employment models. In light of this, the assumptions and heuristics that underpin many organizations’ talent management strategies will prove a growing barrier to acquisition and retention. 

Theme 4: AI reshaping work 

  • • AI creates, not diminishes, workforce opportunity. Despite anxieties that AI will result in workforce cuts, we foresee AI actually enhancing workforce opportunities. Not only will implementing GenAI create the need for new roles, but it will also allow employers to reduce time to proficiency with new technology and specializations, easing the need to hire talent already skilled in these areas. 

  • • GenAI experiments will likely yield hard lessons and painful costs — at least without sufficient risk management. GenAI outputs are hardly error-free, creating a strong need for data governance, quality control and good employee judgment. To avoid reputational, regulatory and legal issues, ensure your teams have access to training to develop judgment around not just information validity, but also how and when to use GenAI. 

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