Productivity, technology and working anywhere

Client: Citrix

This study follows on from our 2016 investigation into Working Anywhere which highlighted the tipping point of mobile working in the UK.
The global financial crisis has left a significant impression on business in the UK. Productivity has been slow to recover and this matters because without a return to growth this places constraints on business profits, wages, public revenues and in turn living standards. As businesses face increasing competitive pressures, from on-going developments in a global economy, with rapid advances in technology and an increasing pace of innovation, it is necessary to take a closer look at how businesses are run and where productivity gains can be sought. This project seeks to understand the complex relationship between technology and productivity and how businesses can drive growth through adopting new ways of working and cultures of innovation.

Read the full report here

Understanding the supply of and demand for cyber skills in the UK

Client: Department for Culture, Media & Sport

Commissioned by Government (DCMS) and undertaken in partnership with Databuild and Security Lancaster, The Work Foundation has been investigating the supply and demand for cyber-security skills in the UK.

In advance of a comprehensive survey of business by Databuild, to estimate the shortage of those with cyber-security skills, we undertook a consultative process with experts from a range of organisations to meet the challenge of how to survey non-experts on highly technical skills needs. This required understanding of both the technical and generic business languages and the ability to translate this into an accepted and structured typology.

Our report has fed into the National Cyber Security Strategy which was announced by the Chancellor in November 2016.

Identifying a ‘tipping point’ of mobility?

Client: Hotwire
There is a perceptible trend for remote and mobile working that is being driven by the increased availability of digital technology and new, more flexible working practices.
The Work Foundation was commissioned to explore the idea that this type of working may be reaching a “tipping point” – whereby it becomes more prevalent than traditional office-based work - and how the benefits could be made to outweigh the downsides for both individuals and employers.
To understand the development of these trends, we established a panel of leading academic and industry experts, using a Delphi approach, and surveyed over 500 managers. We were able to independently report that whilst technology is an enabler, people-centred approaches would need to be put in place to allow the true benefits to be realised.

Read the final report here

In search of the ‘Gig-Economy’

The concept of the “gig-economy” reflects two fundamental trends in the labour market – the use of digital platform technologies to extend the reach of service provision and the intensification of fragmentation into self-employment, and micro firms.
Unfortunately the term is used imprecisely to describe many different implementations of these trends, which has led in turn to sweeping generalisations regarding the need for increased intervention on terms and conditions for those working in many different areas of what might imprecisely be called the “gig-economy”.
Our research seeks to establish the argument for greater clarity of definitions to enable effective intervention and regulation to challenge exploitation and to prevent the ‘blunt’ policies which destroy good work.

Read the report here