According to the latest report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), the way HR departments are managed will have changed drastically by 2030.

Flexi-working and virtual staff will become commonplace in the coming years, as will workers aged between 70 and 80.  The number of women in the workplace is also expected to grow because of societal changes.

The Future of Work report, which was published this week, forecasts a number of changes based on the analysis of changes already occurring, such as globalisation, the ageing workforce, and digital technology.  The findings suggest that there will be profound changes for HR managers and employers over the next 15 years.

This will be due in part to continually evolving technology.  Smart algorithms, mobile access, and widespread Internet access may well mean that employees will not need to be in the office each day in order to do their jobs effectively.

Employers will see an even wider range in the age of workers as more and more people put off their retirement.  “It will be the first time in human history that this has happened,” explained Toby Peyton-Jones, a commissioner at UKCES.  “Will we see inter-generational stress and culture clashes, or will this prove to be a positive tension that is part of a wider diversity trend that will drive innovation?”

Mr. Peyton-Jones continued: “Some things are unstoppable forces – the rise of technology, for example.  Other influences are subtle and fragile, yet potentially even more significant.  I’d count things like the attitudes and culture of people born in the digital generation amongst these.”

As the employment arena changes, skills activism and technological innovations may automate work and could lead to more government-funded retraining programmes.  Employers may also require more flexibility in staff numbers in order to increase agility within their operations.