Future of Work

The twin forces of globalisation and technological advancement are radically altering the nature of employment in Singapore and the wider region. Traditional jobs in areas such as manufacturing and services are being lost to increased automation, while advances in communication technology are enabling organisations to outsource work to developing economies where employment costs are lower.

As a consequence, workers in developed and rapidly developing nations are facing increased work-related uncertainty. This uncertainty manifests not only in the risk of becoming unemployed, but also in the increasingly flexible nature of work itself. Evolving and uncertain labour markets require that organisations employ smaller, more flexible workforces and that the workers themselves despecialise to facilitate frequent transitions between employers, roles, and industries.

Such changes have profound consequences, both for a worker’s career choices and more fundamentally for their sense of professional identity. In the past, such identities were relatively simple, since workers would often remain in a single organisation or even a single role for their entire working lives. This is no longer the case. The fluidity of contemporary work and careers present significant challenges to the navigation of career pathways and to the construction of meaningful and coherent career identities. Moreover, the rise of social media and personal online branding suggests a blurring of the boundaries between work and non-work identities, which presents new problems and challenges for today’s employees and their employers.

Given these changes, CITBA conducts research to better understand the changing nature of work, careers, and professional identity, with a view to improving policy and practice across the region. With expertise spanning areas of applied psychology and human capital management, CITBA strives to generate practical insights that benefit governments, organisations, and individual employees alike.

For further information on the Future of Work and areas of applied psychology and human capital management research being conducted by CITBA please contact Dr. Jonathan Ramsay at jonathan.ramsay@jcu.edu.au.

For our expert in Australia please contact Dr Stephane Le Queux at stephane.lequeux@jcu.edu.au.

Dr Stephane Le Queux is collaborating with Professor Georgina Murray and Professor David Peetz (Griffith University), Professor John Burgess (RMIT), Professor Julia Connell (University of Newcastle) and Professor Alan Nankervis (Curtin University). Stephane mostly uses critical meta-analysis in research and policy development. For the time being, the team is focusing on the impact of Covid19 on economies, work and labour markets. Yet, there is the view that the crisis may lead us to changes faster than expected. The aim is to explore which business models and work practices would sustain in the new business environment.

Dr Stephane Le Queux and Professor Georgina Murray gave a presentation to the most recent AIRAANZ conference in Feb 2020.

Le Queux, S. & Murray G. (2020) Browsing mega-trends: IR 4.0, 34th Annual AIRAANZ Conference, Doing things differently? IR practice and research beyond 2020, Queenstown, New Zealand