PwC: More and more employees work outside of office

31 August 2015 2 min. read

The Millennial generation is causing dissonance in the expectations of many traditional employers, a recent survey from PwC shows. Only 14% wants to work in the traditional office setting in the future and 20% would prefer a ‘virtual’ collaborative space in which to work. In addition, there is a shift to more freelance based work.

In a recent survey of 10,000 workers and 500 HR professionals from around the globe, titled ‘The future of work: A journey to 2022’, PwC explores the way in which workers interpret their working environments and where they would like to be in the coming years.

PwC, The future of work

One of the findings from the report is that many would like to free themselves from the office environment, with only 14% saying they would prefer doing their work in the traditional office space. A quarter (25%) believes that traditional forms of employment won’t exist at all in the future, with the belief that they will need to become self-employed and sell their skills to those that need them. As a response, many organisations will need to prepare themselves for the needs of workers.

Increase flexibility
People’s lack of interest in working in an office reflects the growing desire among many workers to have more flexibility and varied challenges by working freelance or as a contractor for a number of organisations. Because of the projected changes, almost a third of HR professionals are gearing up their HR practices to provide space for more portfolio careers – with a projection that 20% of all positions in the corporate world will be made up of temporary contractors by 2022. For this, departments are developing talent strategies around hiring a diverse mix of people on an affordable, ad hoc basis.


“It's clear from our research that traditional nine to five office working could soon become resigned to history for many workers. People feel strongly that they no longer want to work within the constraints of the typical office environment and advances in technology mean that workers no longer have to be shackled to their desks. We predict that many organisations will embrace these changes in employee working preferences and use them to their own advantage,” explains Jon Andrews, UK HR Consulting leader at PwC. “We could easily see the rise of organisations that have a core team that embodies the philosophy and values of the company, but the rest of the workforce is not fixed and come in and out on a project–by–project basis. People will be categorised and rewarded for having specialist expertise. Project–related bonuses could become more common as people have a personal stake in the organisation's or project's success.”