According to recent research from PwC, around one-fifth of the workforce will consist of temporary workers by 2022.

The research also indicates that just one in seven employees wants to work in a traditional nine-to-five office setting in the future.  Employee 'auctions', ad hoc hiring and virtual working are among the trends that recruiters and workers will see in the near future.

The rise of the virtual worker

PwC’s Future of Work report surveyed over 10,000 individuals across the UK, the US, Germany, China and India.  One-fifth of those surveyed see themselves working virtually – with the ability to log on to their job from any location – within the next decade.

Many respondents believe that the shift in how companies operate will be so significant that traditional working approaches and office structures simply won’t be around in the future.

Though these findings indicate that HR professionals have some interesting challenges approaching, a proactive attitude could drive businesses to flourish.  

The research also shows that most HR professionals are already prepared for substantial changes, with one-quarter of employers actively considering the evolving paradigms of the working environment as part of their long-term business planning.

Based on these findings, many HR professionals predict that at least one-fifth of the workforce will consist of temporary workers in the next ten years as the employee mindset changes.  It is likely that many workers will see themselves not as an employee of a particular organisation but as a member of a particular skill or professional network.

“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,” explains PwC UK HR consulting leader Jon Andrews.