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The World Ahead

The outlook for work in 2025: better for some, worse for others

Bright spots include less corporate gender imbalance, remote work normalization

Skilled professionals who were already established in the labor market when the Covid-19 crisis hit will by 2025 be enjoying the fruits of "hybrid" work.   © Reuters

LONDON -- In 2025, the world of work will be more flexible and inclusive for some of us, and more brutal, atomized and insecure for others.

Skilled professionals who were already established in the labor market when the COVID-19 crisis hit will by 2025 be enjoying the fruits of "hybrid" work. Many will work one or two days a week at home.

With presenteeism no longer a prerequisite for career progression, professional women will find it easier to keep their careers on track when they have children. Corporate gender imbalance will begin to improve. The normalization of remote work will also create opportunities for talented people in developing countries to work for companies in the rich world.

Sarah O'Connor, Financial Times employment columnist. (Photo by Financial Times)

But without strong policy action, the world of work for many others in 2025 will be worse. High unemployment in the years after the pandemic will erode the already weak bargaining power of younger and lower-skilled workers. Companies will retain a core of well-treated staff, but new "hires" in both blue-collar and white-collar positions will increasingly be on temporary or freelance contracts. For the young, bouts of joblessness will be common. It will become ever harder to find employers willing to provide them with training, progression or pensions. By 2025, they will be very angry.

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