At a Glance

  • Some 40% of employees are considering leaving their employer for job opportunities that offer more flexibily or career changs
  • Employers must tap into the combined power of people, processes and technology to become more human-centric.
  • Employers are challenged to deliver asuperior user experience in which employee engagement is never in question

Empowered Work: The Changing World of Work, Workers and Workspaces

Change is the only constant in life. But often, change is so gradual and imperceptible that we don’t really notice it until a cataclysmic event happens. Similarly, the future of work, workers, and workspaces has been changing over the last few decades, being continually reshaped by increasing globalization, the need for greater workplace flexibility, economic and socio-political shifts, and the rapid pace of digital and technological advancements. But it took a global pandemic to force a fundamental change in how we work.

Many organizations became more productive, but virtual meeting fatigue also became a harsh reality. People want to work remote permanently, but many miss the office culture and collaboration. A lot of work can be done online, but many jobs cannot be done remotely, and some work is better accomplished face to face.

Now, we are on the back end of this major shift and a recent study reveals that 40% of employees are considering leaving their current employers and looking for new opportunities that offer more flexibility. Several factors are influencing what’s being called “The Great Resignation”.

  • Flexibility of remote work
  • Hesitancy to return to the office
  • Burnout from extra workloads and stress
  • Rethinking careers
  • Major professional and personal life changes

The workplace is now the workspace—the office is wherever you choose to work from—remote, hybrid or a physical location.

People’s personal and professional lives have never been more intertwined, and employers are realizing they have an increasing responsibility to look out for the whole employee—their professional and personal wellbeing—and focus on human-centric, empowered work. Employees are now looking to their employers to provide them with more than just a paycheck. Organizations are expanding to offer senior care, mental care, parental leave, more affordable childcare, among other benefits.

To become a human-centric employer, leaders can no longer think about people, processes, and technology as three separate issues.

Organizations need to:

  • Rethink productivity through the lens of efficiency with tools and technologies
  • Focus on impact or outcome, rather than the number of activities or hours spent
  • Train and upskill employees and grow new leaders
  • Foster collaborative and secure, virtual-on-demand workspaces
  • Create a diverse, sustainable, and socially aware work culture

The new, human-centric approach offers incredible opportunities for both employees and employers to rethink what work means, how to be successful in the new model and how to balance personal and professional lives—in essence, helping humans thrive.

Key Trends That Support Empowered Work

Employee Health and Wellbeing

With the aftermath of the global pandemic, organizations should increasingly look for employee-centric workforce models, and invest in the success, growth, and happiness of employees to drive meaningful long-term business outcomes.

Technology Adoption, Automation and AI

Adoption of intelligent systems will transform work, and human-machine interactions will replace repetitive and labor-intensive tasks. This will allow organizations to seek talent that relies on social intelligence, people skills and human ingenuity, among others.

New Work Models

Workers are demanding work from anywhere, anytime, sparking employers to think about the workspaces their employees need most. Organizations of all sizes, as well as government agencies will need to create newer models of work.

Cyberthreat Resilience

The rise of the digital workplace has seen an increase in cyberattacks and this will likely continue with the increase of physical, hybrid and digital workplaces. In fact, nearly five in six organizations (83%) have completely re-thought their IT security.

New Leaders, New Culture

Leadership and organization culture will be redefined as the world of work continues to transform. Organizations will seek to create corporate cultures that reward passion, creativity, and self-initiative at both the leadership and employee levels.

Featured Insights

Listen to Kim Curley, our vice president of workforce readiness, discusses The Great Resignation and The Great Experiment –and her perspective of the human side of business.

  • The meaning of workforce readiness
  • ‘The Great Resignation’ and employee migration
  • The gig economy’s tectonic shift in the workforce
  • Up-skilling your workforce benefits your organization:
  • Mistakes leaders might make in change management

In this episode of The State of Work podcast, Curley shares her knowledge of a changing workplace and what you should think about now.

Podcast: The Shape of Work

The Great Resignation. The Great Experiment.

Empower Employees Today

Technology is everywhere. Digital is everything. Learn how CIOs can empower employees today and pave the way for future innovations


Employers have an increasing responsibility to look out for the whole person, including keeping employees engaged and efficient and able to provide the most impact.

Eric Clark, Chief Digital & Strategy Officer
NTT DATA Services

Taking a Human-Centric Approach to Work, Workers and Workspaces

The future of work is being reimagined and reinvented, and cultural, social and digital technology shifts are resetting worker expectations. Empowered work requires a collaborative, mobile, secure and inclusive work culture, regardless of physical location. Employers must adopt human-centric design that fosters productivity and elevates employee experience, while providing workspaces that bring out the best in their employees.

Empowering the Worker

Empowering workers means focusing on the human side of the business—providing opportunities and the flexibility to learn, grow, connect, promote equity and make a professional and personal impact.

Empower workers by:

  • Training and upskilling employees
  • Creating hubs for clients and employees to collaborate
  • Fostering diversity and creating and inclusive culture in your workforce
  • Redesigning HR process with a human-centric approach
  • Focusing on organizational change management
  • Putting the employee experience at the heart of your operations

Empowering Work

Empowering work means having the right tools and technology for employers to offer the best environment to their employees, for superior user experience and one where employee engagement is never in question.

Empower work by:

Providing seamless IT experience via automated service desk, cloud-based unified endpoint management and cloud-based virtual desktops

Improving the employee experience with modernized field services

Creating solutions for human and bot collaboration

Empowering the Workspace

Empowering the workspace means rethinking physical facilities to make the office a modernized, destination and increase collaboration across locations and geographies for employees and clients.

Empower the workspace by:

  • Providing collaboration tools for seamless employee communications and teaming
  • Keeping digital and security at the heart of your workplace solution
  • Establishing hub-cities and reconfigurable workspaces with smart-space technologies

Collaboration Matters

The next decade will see a significant change in how companies manage commercial real estate and how IT will oversee hybrid, physical and digital work environments putting a focus on collaborative space and ideas.

“Companies need to have a 360-degree view and a vision that includes automating tasks, upskilling teams and digital collaboration, that enables workplace efficiency and workforce equity.”

Maribel Lopez

Founder and Principal Analyst

Lopez Research