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February 12, 2016

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Infographic: What does the future of work look like?

Over the next two weeks, SHP will be publishing a series of infographics from the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) on what the future of the working world will look like. Dr Helen Beers explains the first one:

What might the working world look like in five years’ time? Or in ten to twenty years’ time? Or in the year 2050 and beyond?  Knowing in advance what the future might hold can be valuable to an organisation, helping it to plan strategically for the long term, prepare itself for any likely workplace changes and build business agility and resilience.

Predicting the future is impossible but the practice of horizon scanning, which anticipates what might happen in the future by analysing available data and trends, can provide a useful guide.

The Foresight Centre, based at HSE’s Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), helps the UK government, organisations and businesses prepare their occupational safety and health (OSH) for the future.

One area of particular relevance to HSL is the changing nature of work and the bearing this will have upon the workplace, employees and health and safety in the future. Using carefully sourced information from horizon scanning activity the Foresight Centre can identify, monitor and make sense of the trends and drivers of change most likely to affect the future workplace. The future can be disrupted by many things including, for example, events or technologies such as these illustrated below:1

Helen BeersDr Helen Beers  joined HSL in 2009 with responsibility for leading HSL’s social research work. She is currently the Technical Team Lead within HSL’s Foresight Centre, where her work focuses on demographics and ageing. Helen has a PhD in Health Psychology and prior to joining HSL worked within the health, education and finance sectors.






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