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Work in Progress

All organisations are facing new challenges with disruptors in technology and generational shifts. To address this, we're delighted to launch our new Work in Progress report – a research-based study of more than 2000 working people in the UK and Germany, addressing generational priorities in the workplace.

February 2020

Our report outlines the latest trends emerging from our data that will impact your businesses and, more importantly, decisions you need to consider to reduce risk and achieve continued growth.

Download the report

The results

Our study shows the impact of technology and the shift in generational mind-sets of workers on businesses today, and the issues that owners need to address to ensure continued success:

  • how generational preferences and priorities differ
  • how workers rate their employers on these measures
  • areas that companies need to prioritise in response to the future of work and its workforce.

Supporting your business

Splitting the data by various demographics identifies what is most important to people at different stages of their working lives (life-stage trends) and how technology and social progress are changing people's priorities (generational shifts), in some cases permanently.

Only by understanding what employees and workers truly value (and what they don't) will you be able to make sound decisions relating to investment and management for the long term.

Main themes

  • Proptech: Real estate's relationship with technology already influences sustainability, market position and brand, and it may soon come to define it entirely. Our experts advise you on how to keep up.
  • Remote working: The centralised office is in competition with another workspace – the home. How can your office and assets remain relevant?
  • Workplace as lifespace: Our teams assess the benefits of building flexibility of use class into your property portfolio and your business.
  • Future mobility: A successful business needs purpose. How are you addressing the access, transport and eco concerns of your stakeholders?
  • Equality: What hidden inequalities lurk within your organisation, and are they stopping you from finding and keeping the right talent?

In a time where technological and social change so heavily influence our preferences and expectations, it's clearer than ever that the 'one size fits all' approach to delivering a compelling employee experience is a thing of the past.

Our research shows how 21st century employees want to tailor their work experience to their lives, rather than adapt their lives to their work, and employers must embrace this need for flexibility and choice if they want to compete by attracting and retaining the best people.

Some businesses may balk at enabling a multi-choice, elective-presence environment, opting instead for a more transactional relationship with their workforce and accepting a higher churn. Many though, especially those that need a relatively calm pool of high skills, won't have that choice, and will instead continue to develop and embellish their 'work offering' with technology and policies that appeal to today's and tomorrow's workers.

In a future where many 'futures of work' will co-exist, some fortunate working people may be able to personalise their work style and work experience. Does this have to mean further division in society? And can we see a time when businesses feel compelled to step up and be accountable for some of the consequences of these changes?

Of course, companies can't do everything, but they can make a number of sound, future-proofing decisions. It's important for boards and business leaders (and investors, designers and property managers) to understand that questions about equality and fairness – many of which are played out in the physical world of work as well as in HR policies – are of the highest strategic importance. They go straight to the heart of the big question: what kind of organisation do you want to be?

If you have any questions on this article please contact us.

Sean Nesbitt


Sean and Paul introduce Taylor Wessing's Work in Progress survey, which looks at the impact of technology and social progress on people's priorities in their working lives.

"In a time where technological and social change so heavily influences our preferences and expectations, it's clearer than ever that the 'one size fits all' approach to delivering a compelling employee experience is a thing of the past."