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PwC’s Work-life 3.0: Understanding How We’ll Work Next

By Rob Starr, Content Manager

To understand the future of work, PwC looked at the shifting dynamics and the state of jobs presently as well as where they appear to be going. Work-life 3.0: Understanding How We’ll Work Next also looked at the ways employers can get the most from tomorrow’s workforce. Justin Sturrock, partner, people & organization leader, PwC, answered some questions.


 The research notes that while employees seem satisfied on the surface, there are frustrations simmering. Can you explain that?

While most survey participants say they liked their jobs, more than half say they are seeking better work-life balance.  There is also a growing feeling of disempowerment reported from those employees of large organizations (1000+ employees).  Plus, only 36% say they feel appreciated for the work they perform. This is underpinned by the feeling that employers are often out of touch with these frustrations.

Are there generational divides?

There have always been generational differences in the workforce.  This study highlights that each generation has distinct wants, needs and ways of thinking. This has placed extra complexity on leadership and the need for tailored solution to match this disparate workforce.  If employers understand these differences and can manage the needs and successes of each generation they are more likely to differentiate their organizations in terms of attracting and

Justin Sturrock

Justin Sturrock

retaining people.

What are small businesses doing right?

Small business (employers with less than 50 employees) is often less bureaucratic as there are usually less layers in the organization.  Employees are more likely to have a direct connection the CEO / Owner and importantly, to customers.  The smaller size of these organizations make it easier to build teamwork and connectivity with colleagues.  Employees report feeling more empowered and more motivated because their effort makes a tangible difference.

What are the gender differences?

The gender differences in the study illustrate that there is still a gap in how men and women perceive the workplace. We draw attention to employers looking to achieve higher satisfaction among their female employees, noting that there are distinct values that women prioritize in the workplace.  Women rate these values on average 10% higher than their male colleagues, namely, work life balance, feeling that they can be themselves and, wanting to perform meaningful work.

What are the other big takeaways?  

A key take away in the study is that loyalty is in question. Three in ten employees say they expect to change jobs within six months, and 38% expect this change to happen within the next year. That’s an alarming potential turnover rate, for any industry.  Employers are often out of touch with employee frustrations. Among those we surveyed, 62% view their relationship with employees as “a committed partnership.” By contrast, employees are more likely to view the relationship as a “marriage of convenience” or “casual acquaintanceship.” We’re asking Employers, can you afford to lose 38% of your workforce in the next year?

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