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 June 2020 to February 2021 are as follows:

Leading Into the Future (23rd June 2020, Virtual Masterclass)

In a world of automated workflows, fluid workforces and shifting power structures, organisations are challenging their leaders to step up and take charge of rapid change. Leaders are being asked to lead on social issues; engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholders; learn to operate in networks of teams; navigate greater ambiguity and disruption. What are the signature capabilities of future leaders? How can HR create the culture, structure and processes to build future leaders?

Trust and Ethics (13 October 2020, London)

Organisations are facing a trust crisis now more than ever before. Concerns about data security, information credibility, and organisational ethics are on the rise. Equally ethical behaviour and social responsibility are crucial in attracting talent and reflect the reputation of an organisation. With reputation one of the hardest assets to rebuild, companies need to reflect on whether or not their culture enables trust and fosters ethical behaviour. How can organisations build a culture of trust? What is the role of ethical behaviour in creating an effective employee value proposition?

Responsible Automation (2 February 2021, London)

As AI and technological disruption exponentially increase, work is and will continue to be fundamentally changed. Organisations will need to grapple with the ramifications of these technologies as more and more work currently done by humans is automated and replaced by technology. We will explore how organisations can respond to these shifts and develop a human-centric and responsible approach to automation involving the voice of their employees.

Membership of the Consortium is by invitation only. If you think you’d like your organisation to take part, please contact Anna Gurun.