The Future of Work and a New Runner Taking on the London Marathon

December 26, 2017 - Mike Dilke

In the RELAXBACK UK show this week I look at the future of work in the long term and for the next year. I also talk with a new runner who now wants to take on the London Marathon.

Most of us work so what we might end up doing and how we might be doing it should concern us. However I discovered that there are very few definates and a lot of unknowns in the future world of work.

I looked at the report, Workforce of The Future, from PwC. In it Carol Stubbings, joint leader of people and organisation reminds us that we could easily be in an Uber cab, booking an Airbnb on our latest iphone. Just a few years ago this would not have been able to happen. Her point is that technology is changing rapidly and gets quickly assimilated into everyday life and work so what we do and the tools we use to do it will change such that it is very difficult to predict.

So how can companies act now to prepare for this unknown world? Well the big trends of the future are here already according to Blair Sheppard, also of PwC - it is how they are dealt with that is difficult to predict and what the future really consists of. The trends that are with us now and for the future, according to Blair are disruption, asymmetry in wealth and erosion of the middle classes.

Well that scares me to death - he almost mumbles 'erosion of the middle classes' like he doesn't want to believe it himself. So if this is happening maybe the affects can hopefully still be managed so it isn't all doom and gloom. Check out the video below and the report - it will make you think.



I was invited to attend a supplier day at one of my customers - Key Industrial Equipment. They sell all the physical stuff that companies need to function - things like desks and chairs, lockers, shelving and trolleys to move goods around, amongst other things.

Speaking to their sales staff and other suppliers was far less scary than the PwC report. They provide physical items that companies need on a daily basis, as do their suppliers. They all think about what people need in the future as they want to be the ones to supply it in a way that customers find convenient. This is practical and seems much less 'domesdayish' than the thoughts from PwC - maybe it is just them managing the trends PwC talk about.

The sales staff at Key are very much aware of how their customers will need to look after the health and wellbeing of their staff. They intend to do this in a timely and efficient manner for their clients according to the sales staff I spoke with. Hear them here.

Humanscale are a supplier to Key Industrial. They have some good looking desk converters that allow staff to stand at a normal sort of desk if they want to. In 2018 they plan to introduce software that can show how active staff are and then the employer may qualify for lower health insurance premiums. I think that kind of innovation is going to be good for staff's health and wellbeing and good for the employer with fitter staff and lower costs.

So while the future is getting harder to predict and some of the trends might not be to everyone's taste the companies, that I have spoken to,  who will operate in it are spending time predicting what people will need rather than just hoping for the best.

Hear the RELAXBACK UK podcast on this topic and please do ask questions and make comments below.

Catherine Lowery is relatively new to running and was not at all sporty when she started. She spoke to me and is keen to get two things across.

First of all pretty much anyone can get benefit from doing  bit more exercise and going for a jog can be a good way for lots of people. She has lost weight, feels fitter, has more energy and the back twinges she suffered have decreased significantly.

Secondly she has decided to do the London marathon in 2018. She is going to do it for the BackCare charity and Relaxback UK has donated £100 to her for this.

BackCare is an excellent charity that helps a lot of people - please visit Caroline's giving page to help her raise money for them. Also hear Carolines's running journey here.


Thanks for reading - please do ask questions or make comments below and listen to the Relaxback UK show here.