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The Future of Work


There is no pre-determined future of work. Many futures are possible based on a number of often interconnected factors such as technological change, globalisation, environmental concerns, demographic change, legal requirements and policy decisions.


For almost 40 years IER has been producing labour market forecasts for the UK Government. IER continues to be at the forefront of research to understand how these factors play out to shape the future of work. Our research includes analysis of the impact on work of digital technology, Industrie 4.0, platform-mediated work, Covid and the green economy. We do so using mixed research methods to analyse labour markets, workplaces, jobs, tasks and skills regionally, nationally and internationally.

IER also hosts the Renewing Work Advisory Group of Experts (ReWAGE), which works with government on build back better jobs post-Covid and it participates in Warwick’s Global Research Priority Productivity and the Futures of Work.

Research areas

  • New technology and work
  • Platform work 
  • Digitalisation and automation 
  • Productivity and performance 
  • Innovation and work
  • Green jobs 


Preventing the coming “robot wars” and instead choosing the future of work

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New challenges for occupational safety and health in times of the digital transformation in Europe: the role of digital labour platforms, CHANSE (2022 - 2025).

Improving the future world of work post Covid - ReWAGE subgroup, Deloitte (2022).

Productivity Institute; ESRC (2020 – 2025).

The Midlands Engine Mental Health Productivity Pilot; Nottingham City Council (2019 – 2022).

Working Futures; Department for Education (DfE).

Renewing Work Advisory Group of Experts (ReWAGE); ESRC (2021-2022).

Improving the future world of work post Covid - ReWAGE subgroup; Deloitte, (2022)

Labour market and skills demand horizon scanning and qualitative scenarios; Department for Education (DfE), IER in collaboration with RAND Europe (2021).

Understanding the impact on employment of Covid and paths to recovery, ESRC Warwick IAA (2021).

Support for research activity on digital labour platforms including the COLLEEM 3 survey; European Commission, Joint Research Centre (2020-2021).

BEYOND 4.0 Inclusive Futures for Europe. Beyond the impacts of Industrie 4.0 and Digital Disruption; Horizon 2020, European Commission (2019-2023).

Monitoring convergence of European Working Conditions; Eurofound (2019).

Compilation of tasks data at the national level and support in the development and testing of a tasks questionnaire; European Commission, Joint Research Centre (2018-2019).

Digitisation and the future of work; European Commission, Joint Research Centre (2018).

New technology and HRM Study; Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development (CIPD), (2018).

Foresight Future of Skills and Lifelong Learning; UK Government for Science (2016).

Global JOBS Project: Analysis of structural change of employment and job quality in Australia; Eurofound (2013-2015).