The Future of Work after Covid 19 – A Report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)
The COVID-19 pandemic disturbed the labor markets globally during 2020. The short-term consequences were sudden and often severe:
Millions of people lost jobs, and others rapidly adjusted to working from home as offices closed.
Many other workers were deemed essential and continued to work in hospitals and grocery stores, on garbage trucks and in warehouses, yet under new protocols to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.
This report on the future of work after COVID-19 is the first of three MGI reports that examine aspects of the post-pandemic economy. The others look at the pandemic’s long-term influence on consumption and the potential for a broad recovery led by enhanced productivity and innovation.
Here, we assess the lasting impact of the pandemic on labor demand, the mix of occupations, and the workforce skills required 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.
No. 1: The physical dimension of work is a new factor shaping the future of work, brought to the fore by health and safety considerations.
No. 2: COVID-19 accelerated three trends that could persist to varying degrees after the pandemic with different implications for work.
- First, hybrid remote work could continue.
- Second, the growth in share of e-commerce and
the “delivery economy,” which was two to five times faster in 2020 than before
the pandemic, is likely to continue
- Finally, companies have enlisted automation and AI to cope with COVID-19 disruptions and may accelerate adoption in the years ahead, putting more robots in manufacturing plants and warehouses and adding self-service customer kiosks and service robots in customer interaction arenas.
No. 3: These trends will likely affect work arenas and countries in varying ways and raise new questions for cities.
No. 4: Workforce transitions may be larger in scale than we estimated before the pandemic, and the share of employment in low-wage job categories may decline.
No. 5: Businesses and policy makers can accelerate many of the future of work imperatives that were already clear before COVID-19