How organisations can plan for the future of work and the workplaces of tomorrow

Professionals in a modern office

The nature of work is changing rapidly. Technological innovation, automation, big data, and demographic changes such as extended working life are leading to substantial disruption across industry sectors. These changes are also creating new work opportunities through enhanced communication and safer work. Governments, organisations, and communities are searching for new ways to proactively respond to these ongoing changes.

The School of Management and the Future of Work Institute are building a more positive future of work through leading-edge research and collaborative partnerships with diverse industry partners. We are committed to sharing the results of this research and supporting the community to improve working lives.
We aim to build a future where all people can engage in meaningful and healthy work. Our various projects seek to understand the skill requirements of the future and how these skills contribute to a successful and fair economy and society. Ultimately, we want people to thrive in the digital age. Our projects engage all levels of management, occupational groups, and diverse industries to make this vision a reality.

Key projects

Optimising crew endurance and performance Researchers: Prof. Karina Jorritsma, Alex Boeing, Belinda Cham, Katrina Hosszu, Dr Luke Strickland, Dr Michael D. Wilson, Prof. Mark Griffin, Prof. Sharon Parker

The Future of Work Institute’s Work Systems Design Team have been working closely with the Royal Australian Navy and Defence Science Technology Group to optimise work systems for a future maritime platform. This will enable operational personnel to perform and thrive in an increasingly complex, uncertain and technology-driven environment. The team have undertaken a broad range of activities, including computational modelling, field studies during operational activities, and socio-technical redesign of work systems. Their integrative approach has already led to changes for future rostering systems, future platform design decisions and workforce transition strategies.

Taking stock to develop a strategy for employee well-being Researchers: Prof. Karina Jorritsma, Megan Orchard, Dannielle Finnerty, Kim Parker, Kiri Adams

The need and legal obligation to support employee well-being is becoming increasingly important. In this project, the Future of Work Institute’s Thrive at Work team partnered with The Western Australia Police Force (WA Police) to develop an evidence based and integrated approach to improving employee mental health.

Using the innovative Thrive at Work assessment, our researchers reviewed the current state of mental health amongst WA Police employees, as well as wellbeing practices and activities. Over fifty employees from across fifteen different working areas within the organisation took part. Following a series of workshops, ninety recommendations were made. Many have already been actions, and others included in a resourcing plan.

Switch: Switching on innovation in Government Researchers: A/Prof. Amy Tian, Dr Dorothy Wardale, Brad Birt (Curtin Learning Partnerships)

Switch is a five-and-a-half-day program that has been developed through a partnership between Curtin University and the City of Canning in Western Australia. The program is designed to build a culture of innovation in government departments, giving middle to senior leaders the mindset, tools, evidence and confidence to come up with innovative ideas and help their workplaces to adapt and respond to various stakeholder needs. Collaborative research informs the program’s development and delivery. This research provides data on participants’ expectations, training needs and development over time, and ensures the program is kept up to date with cutting-edge innovation strategies.