The future of work after COVID‑19

McKinsey Global Institute.

Executive summary:

The impact of COVID‑19 on work, the workforce, and the workplace will persist after the health crisis has subsided. This research examines how the trends accelerated by the pandemic may reshape work in the long term. We explore these changes through 2030 in eight countries with diverse economic and labor market models: China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, these eight countries account for almost half the global population and 62 percent of GDP.

The pandemic has, for the first time, elevated the importance of the physical dimension of work. In this research, we define ten work arenas that group occupations according to their proximity to coworkers and customers, the number of interpersonal interactions involved, and their on-site and indoor nature. We find that jobs in work arenas with higher levels of proximity are likely to see greater transformation after the pandemic, triggering knock-on effects in other work arenas as business models shift in response.


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