Business leaders give their views on what the future of work will look like - Business Leader News

Business leaders give their views on what the future of work will look like

Barclays have collaborated with BLM to produce a survey on what the future of work will look like. Over 80k business people were asked a series of questions on topics ranging from flexible working to productivity, in order to gauge a view on how leaders in businesses are approaching the changing face of work. Here are the results.

The survey kicked off by asking business owners what they feel will have the biggest impact on the way they work in the future?

The majority (45%) said they felt AI and machine learning – and other disruptive technologies – would have the biggest impact.

Interestingly, only 31% said flexible working, against 9% who selected the gig economy and 15% who said the requirements of millennials and how they are shaping the way work is structured.

Focusing specifically on disruption, 47% said they expected some of the roles around them to be displaced by technology in the next ten years.

Flexible working

With flexible working coming out as the second most disruptive working practice, it was interesting to see that an overwhelming 77% believe it is a good thing, with 7% saying it’s bad and 16% were undecided.

On a similar thread, when asked about whether the concept of weekly or monthly working hours – ie the traditional 9-5 working day – was a good thing, 60% said it was, 22% said it wasn’t and 18% were undecided.


Productivity is a major issue for the UK, with many working the longest hours in Europe but still coming out as the least productive.

On this subject, business leaders were asked if they felt their employees would be more productive if they worked less hours.

45% said yes, with 37% saying they didn’t think this would be the case. 18% responded that they were undecided on this issue.

The next question in this segment then asked if people should always be in the office to complete work tasks. Unexpectedly a huge 60% said no, with 5% saying that employees should be at their desks all the time when completing work.

The balance (35%) said that it depended on the circumstances, as to where employees should complete work.


The next generation of workers are having an impact on how work is structured, with many companies aligning themselves to their expectations. The concept of a job for life is also a thing of the past it seems, with the average person holding down five different jobs over their lifetime.

When asked whether the business they own or work for has adapted specifically to align itself as a millennial friendly business, 38% said yes.

Interestingly 48% said they hadn’t changed their business to meet this requirement. 14% said they hadn’t even considered it as an issue.

Employee benefits

The survey ended by asking the recipients about employee benefits and staff retention. Everybody was asked what they felt was most important to a happy work career – pay, employee benefits or the vision of the company.

45% said the vision of the company, 40% said pay and 15% said employee benefits and perks.