Informal and Atypical Work


It’s indisputable that COVID-19 is changing the workplace, maybe irrevocably, but it is not the only factor to have been driving changes to the way work is performed.

In this report, we identity five megatrends that have been operating as catalysts, inching us towards major and possibly irreversible changes to the way work is organised. We look at COVID, globalisation, the impact of technology, the 2008 financial crisis, plus the very real desire of workers for flexibility and easy access to work and we think about what this confluence of trends can tell us about how work will look in the future.

But before delving into the megatrends, we examine the kinds of informal and ‘atypical’ work arrangements that are popping up, to see how they fit into the emerging world of work. In our view, these new work patterns give us a glimpse into the future of work – and an opportunity for us to understand it and shape it in a way that benefits employers and workers alike.

We also think about whether the sectors currently in the eye of the COVID storm will continue to be the ones hardest hit or whether there will be a ripple effect, altering the way people work across more industries and types of work.

Stability, opportunities for growth, and as much certainty as possible are all important for business and so it is vital for employers to find the best ways to meet the challenges ahead. We end with some thoughts for employers about what to consider.

For this report, we have drawn on expertise from our lawyers around the world. They tell us what is happening on the ground in their countries and how they see the world of work changing over time.

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