Companies "risk a drain of talent", while home-based work will grow

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New research on social change suggests that by the year 2010, up to half the work in many professional jobs will be done from home as "knowledge based" companies continue to grow. But the author of the report claims that professional and managerial women are likely to adapt more successfully than men to the shift in society, and that companies who do not promote career-minded singles, women in particular, will see their best people leave for opportunity elsewhere.

According to Richard Scase, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Kent University, "low-trust corporate cultures" will lose intellectual capital and the business opportunities created by new technologies. "Hierarchical attitudes" among managers, he argues, are a major barrier to a creative, high-performing economy.

Part-time working, fixed-term contracts and self-employment will continue to spread, creating more job insecurity for people without relevant skills.

The research was carried out at Essex University, on a commission from the Economic and Social Research Council as part of the Government’s Foresight Programme. You can download the full report from the ESCR’s website at http://www.esrc.ac.uk,and details of the Foresight Programme are at http://www.foresight.gov.uk

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