Research

Future of work brings precarity and inequality

16 Jul 2020 By Siobhan Palmer

Researchers predict a rise in insecure employment, home offices and short-term working formats 

The future of work is likely to become more unequal and uncertain, a research review from Durham University Business School, King’s College Business School and University Paris-Dauphine has found.

The review identified trends by looking at papers on a range of working practices over the last 30 years. The authors predicted increases in new, insecure types of employment such as zero-hours contracts and online labour platform workforces. The researchers also forecasted a rise in home and virtual offices, which they suggested could blur the boundaries between work and private life. The study also concluded the rise in flexible, short-term and precarious working formats would hand more power to business management. 

Dr Jeremy Aroles from Durham University Business School said “the impact of Covid-19 has called into question [...] globalisation, created further economic volatility, and forced millions [...] to work from home and further utilise technologies, accelerating the transition into a new world of work further. 

“This ‘new’ world of work simply repeats asymmetrical power relations and inequalities that characterise current work activities. The changes only exacerbate even further disparities, inequalities and precarity in employment.”

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