Working it Out



Working it Out: How to Be Ready for the Redefined Future of Work by Linda Nazareth Details the Forces that are Changing the Economy and Lays Out the Ways that Organizations and Individuals Need to be Ready for What Comes Next


It is a watershed moment, a time when everything is on the table and we can choose our own destiny. In the wake of a pandemic that showed us that work can be done a lot more places than in an office, individuals and organizations are making decisions that will shape the future of work for decades to come. It is not just about where we work, however. On a planet that is experiencing a climate emergency with an aging population and robots that are getting smarter by the minute, everything is in flux. Everything needs to be reimagined to accommodate the changes, and that includes work.


In Working it Out: How to Be Ready for the Redefined Future of Work, economist Linda Nazareth draws on her decades of analyzing the labour market to articulate the issues changing how we work and then sketch out the future that lies ahead of us. From sketching out how offices might change to noting that workers already have shifted their values, she looks at the issues that will shape work and with an eye to helping her readers stay ahead of the changes.


The Uneasy Present


The beginning of the pandemic in 2020 caused a forced trial of remote work and despite the best efforts of organizations, many workers do not want to return to the status quo. Forcing them would seem to be a bad idea, given that quitting, whether quiet or with a great deal of noise, seems to be a route that many are willing to take. What will be the next step out of this uneasy present? Have we learned anything for the great experiment of the last few years? ‘The pandemic has set off a bomb in terms of the evolution of work’ writes Nazareth. ‘It has changed management structures, organizational behaviours and even physical office spaces. It’s also set off huge debates over what the future should look like – debates that might take years to settle’.


The Work Megatrends


As we make decisions about what the future of work will look like, we are operating within the parameters of the megatrends that are redefining the economy and the world. ‘Demographics are causing shifts in the composition of our population and are also changing who is making the decisions’ writes Nazareth. She also notes that climate change will impact work, saying ‘Our planet is getting warmer and with the rise in temperatures will come natural disasters that have an impact on all organizations and their decisions about work and workers’.  The most radical changes around work may well come from technology and the on-coming Fourth Industrial Revolution. ‘Robots may not be coming for everyone’s job’ says Nazareth, ‘but almost everyone will have their work affected by what artificial intelligence and the technologies of ‘Industry 4.0’ can do.


The Redefined World


What do we want in a redefined world of work? ‘Everything is on the table, from a move to  Hollywood-style project work to choosing offices that look like airport lounges’ says Nazareth, noting that as much as redefining workspaces, we also need redefine leadership. ‘We need to equip our leaders with the right skills to take us into this brave new future in which nothing will look like it did in the past’.





Linda Nazareth is an economist, futurist and expert on the future of work. The host of the podcast Work and the Future, she is a regular columnist for the Globe and Mail and a radio columnist with CBC Metro Morning. Linda is also a sought-after keynote speaker whose audiences have included spanned industries and countries. To learn more about her work, follow her on twitter at @relentlesseco or check out her website at

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