Key global trends impacting on the workforce

Identify the impact of global trends on how we work

According to the EU report “Drivers of change: challenges and opportunities for sustainability in Europe” we can identify the following trends for Europe.

Cluster 1 - Growing urbanisation and migrating global population.
  • While the population growth globally continues to rise, in Europe it is declining, and the European population is getting older.

Cluster 2 - Climate change and environmental degradation worldwide.
  • Human-induced global change known as “The Great Acceleration” is pushing Climate change and raising global temperatures with increased flooding and drought as a consequence.

Cluster 3 - Increasing scarcity of and global competition for resources.
  • There is an accelerated demand for energy, and while the European output of renewable energy is rising by 7,4% annually, it only makes up 3,5% of the global energy consumption (2017). The Global demand for energy grows by 2,3% per year, or nearly twice the economic growth on average since 2010.

Cluster 4 - Accelerating technological change and convergence.
  •  Widespread digitalisation is the key enabler of the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution', which fuses digital technologies with the physical and biological worlds. This is expected to provide opportunities for more integrated and efficient industrial processes, personalised production, new jobs and economic growth.

Cluster 5 - Power shifts in the global economy and geopolitical landscape.
  • In Europe the larger cities are acquiring more autonomy as drivers for change. Technology and infrastructure is developing rapidly and creating “SmartCities” with new possibilities for efficient physical and electronic infrastructure.

Cluster 6 - Diversifying values, lifestyles and governance approaches.
  •  New work patterns and lifestyles are emerging by means of rapid and pervasive technological change (Cluster 4). New work relationships such as Virtual Assistants and “Gig-workers” are emerging and telework is becoming more prevalent especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. But while creating opportunities for economic growth and new job types, these new work forms have the potential to adversely affect workers' rights, health, safety and mental well-being because of growing job insecurity.

Discuss the emergence and development of on-line and remote working

All areas of society have to change in order to cope with the environmental challenges, the structure of the workforce is only a small part of this.

But using the technological “smart work/telework” capabilities of a modern knowledge worker provide a lot of potential for cutting down on emissions, waste and resources.

In the EU report: “Telework in the EU before and after the COVID-19: where we were, where we head to” it is easy to see the development in telework in the different European countries - and these numbers are from 2019!

So, we are looking at a massive trend of knowledge workers working from their own home via an online connection.

In the process of getting back to “normal” after the Covid-19 pandemic businesses will benefit from learning what worked well during the period of extensive Teleworking and use this knowledge going forward. Letting people work from home saves a lot of resources and eases traffic congestion. Based on this knowledge we might see an increase in the uses of Virtual Assistants in the coming years, since most companies have learned that telework can be a viable option, especially for mundane or standardised assignments.


Case: Bornerup Datacenter, Denmark
The IT company Bornerups Datacenter has chosen to be at the forefront of the future by making last year's corona repatriations permanent. Therefore, the company will move out of the office premises in Thy, Denmark by August, after which the employees will have to work from home. The KPIs are already showing greater efficiency and higher well-being, says the director.

Link to article:

Case: A Critical view of the pure remote work: On-site, Remote or Hybrid: Employee Sentiment on the Workplace

This report will provide companies with data and analyses on what to expect in employee dynamics that may arise when returning to the office from remote work during COVID-19. Analysed through the perspectives of employees this report will identify key opportunities and challenges of returning to on-site work in the post-COVID era.


How to work effectively from home?

Whether it’s done by choice or by necessity, working from home has its benefits, like avoiding your daily commute. But it also means it’s up to you to motivate yourself and get as much out of your time as you would in an office setting.

To help, here are four tips to keep yourself accountable, collaborative, and productive as you work from home.


MyVA Project number: 2020-1-SE01-KA226-VET-092491
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. 
The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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