Future of Work

The Future of Work Research Consortium Turns 10!

Launched by Professor Lynda Gratton and the Hot Spots Movement 10 years ago, FoW provides a platform for recognising key trends and identifying the ways in which businesses can respond to them in order to remain dynamic, innovative and competitive. It was the first research consortium to pioneer a co-creation methodology based around an online community and draws together leading professionals from high-profile organisations including Shell, the Coca-Cola Company and Tata Consultancy Services. Our members come together to forecast what work will look like in the future and how corporations should adapt their work practices to attract and engage with the best global talent. Over the past 10 years, FoW has involved over 100 member organisations, welcoming participants from destinations as diverse as South Africa, India, China and Japan. 98% of members stay with us for more than one year, and the average membership duration is just under three years.

Why Join?

Membership of FoW brings many great benefits. Here are just three of them:

  • Cutting-edge Research
  • Focus On Getting From Ideas to Action
  • Become part of a network of forward-looking HR professionals
  • Personalised support from your Relationship Manager

Listen to some of the feedback that we received at one of our recent masterclasses:


Members of the Consortium benefit from access to the very latest academic research and practical insights and have the ability to learn and develop in a way that is customised to their needs.

The 10-year Narrative of FoW

The research team at the Hot Spots Movement, led by Professor Lynda Gratton, is inviting membership of the Future of Work Research Consortium.

At the Future of Work Research Consortium, we have been researching the future of work for 10 years. During this time, we have challenged assumptions, around what work is, how work gets done, and who the workers of the future will be. We have also remained people-focused in looking at the interconnection of trends and individuals.

In the early years of FoW, we explored how external trends were impacting work and organisations. We identified five macrotrends (technology, low-carbon, society, economy, globalisation) and 32 microtrends, and examined how consortium members were responding to these forces. This included running a diagnostic with FoW members so that they could discover how the trends were impacting their organisation. 

We then asked what this meant for people. Change happens faster at a personal level than an institutional level.  Individuals often react more quickly to technological and social change than businesses who must adapt as a result. For example, the impact of trends such as longevity or women in work can be seen in the behaviour of individuals before the implementation of organisational practices and processes. Examining what is happening in people’s lives allows organisations to adjust their people practices, helping create a more engaged workforce. This, in turn, helps companies build a sense of agency in their workforce and a more adult-to-adult relationship with their people.   

The Future of Work Thematic Approach

We frame our research around themes that reflect the most pertinent challenges for organisations. We conduct initial research for each theme, assembling cases, hard facts, and academic articles to support the findings from our own surveys, interviews and focus groups.

The community of leaders and the FoW team are continually researching the most advanced and most pressing topics in the field. The themes we're working on for the period of October 2018 to June 2019 are as follows:

The Agile People Strategy (2 October 2018, London)

As the world becomes increasingly volatile and unpredictable, organisations need to react faster and more flexibly. They cannot depend on just a few decision-makers to become more responsive and agile, but rather require their entire workforce, those within and beyond their borders, to fluidly and proactively respond to change. Reflecting this need for organisational agility in how we create and deliver our people strategy is vital.

The Future of High Performance (12 February 2019, London)

How will you redefine high performance in your organisation in the years ahead? We will explore new capabilities such as leading and performing within diverse teams, delivering value within talent ecosystems, and enabling agility within the organisation. We will shed new light on the productivity conundrum, establishing how fit for purpose this metric is in the new world of work. This is an opportunity for your organisation to find out what it really takes to enable high performance in the future of work, informing your talent, leadership and development strategies

Digitalisation Transformation and Work (June 2019, London)

Whether deploying digital technologies to improve workflows or to transform the entire business model, organisations must respond to the challenges and opportunities of digitalisation. HR has a critical opportunity to be a key enabler of digital transformation because people, rather than technology, drive change. In the next few years, HR teams that embrace digital platforms to transform HR operations on the one hand and help embed digital ways of working on the other, will be game changers. Within this theme, we will set out the key steps that HR can take to lead and accelerate the digitalisation of their organisations. 

Membership of the consortium is by invitation only. If you think you’d like your organisation to take part, please contact Emma Birchall.