Skip main navigation


In this introduction we provide an overview of two key ways in which work and working practices have recently changed.
Neon change sign
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant in life.” And certainly for work and working practices this appears to be the case. What we plan to do in this week’s activities is to explore two notable trends in work and working practices that have changed the way we work in recent years, and have the potential to exert an even greater influence over the coming years. The rise of remote working and the greater use of technology.

Two things to note however. First, we recognise that this section, as indeed are many of the others in the course – is biased towards office or white-collar work – where remote working is possible and technology plays a key role. Second we also recognise that for many the world of work has changed significantly with government measures around the world to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. So the changes that many of us are experiencing now are not the result of a trend but rather sharp shock. While a pandemic of this nature is rare, we can anticipate greater intermittent periods of home working in response to other extreme events, particularly those that are climate-induced (e.g. recent Australian Fires, UK Flooding), which are proposed to occur more frequently [1]. So change in work and working practices is constant, and may even become accelerated and more frequent in the coming years.


  1. Banholzer S., Kossin J., Donner S. The Impact of Climate Change on Natural Disasters. In: Zommers Z., Singh A., editors. Reducing Disaster: Early Warning Systems for Climate Change. Springer Science & Business Media; Dordrecht, The Netherlands: 2014.

This article is from the free online

Workplace Wellbeing: Stress and Productivity at Work

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now