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Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive In The New World Of Work

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ISBN-13: 978-0262033367
ISBN-10: 0262033364
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Editorial Reviews


"This book provides challenging and persuasive examples of the need to change and is recommended as a wake-up call to the corporate world." - Management Today

"Future Work sounds seductive. But very few organizations have actually changed the way they really do work. Maitland and Thomson have painted a comprehensive and compelling picture of what's possible, going way beyond the typical hype about technology and GenY. And they've dug deeply to report many very human stories about how the future of work is happening today, and what it takes to transform the workplace. If you read this book and then put it aside without changing the way you manage, you'll wind up watching the future of work from the sidelines." – James P. Ware, Executive Director, The Future of Work…unlimited

"An invaluable resource for anyone who needs to increase employee productivity and reduce costs, and wants to do so in a way which is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable." – Stephen Leonard, Chief Executive, IBM UK and Ireland

"Future Work lives up to its title – it presents a compelling view of how work is being transformed in ways that benefit the employee and employer alike. More than that, it is a compelling call to action that shows us how to create much more flexible and effective workplaces." – Ellen Galinsky, President, Families and Work Institute, and author of Mind in the Making

"Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson have assembled an illuminating body of evidence in this robust and readable analysis of work transformation that deserves to become a classic in its field. Using case studies drawn from progressive employers, they spell out why this change is happening and how it can be achieved. Future Work is an essential tool for future management." – Richard Donkin, author of The Future of Work

"Future Work lays out a compelling business case for flexibility that offers essential guidance for leaders grappling with a changing workforce, globalization and continuous advances in technology. The authors challenge conventional attitudes with a powerful rationale on how work can be accomplished with more precision and efficiency, while simultaneously reducing costs and offering employees more control over how they work." – Michel Landel, CEO, Sodexo

"Future Work is an excellent guide with plenty of examples to inspire 21st-century managers to become real '2.0 leaders'. It will help them develop their skills to introduce flexibility in an uncertain and changing global environment in which individuals are self-motivated and want to integrate their professional and personal lives. It is empowerment in practice!" – Nuria Chinchilla, Professor of Managing People in Organizations, IESE Business School

"The 19th century had an agrarian workforce, and the 20th century an industrial one. Now in the 21st century we have an information workforce, and as a result everything must change again. Maitland and Thomson provide invaluable insights into what future work will look like, and what organizations must do now to adapt to the imperatives of the mobile, global, knowledge economy." – Murray D. Martin, Chairman, President & CEO, Pitney Bowes Inc.

About the Author

ALISON MAITLAND is a writer, speaker and conference moderator specializing in leadership, gender and work. A former long-serving Financial Times journalist, she is co-author of the prize-winning book Why Women Mean Business. She has been researching and writing about corporate culture and the changing workforce since the late 1990s, including eight years as FT Management Writer. She is Director of The Conference Board's Council for Diversity in Business and a Senior Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Management at Cass Business School, London. A frequent conference speaker, she also regularly contributes articles to the Financial Times and other media.

PETER THOMSON is an acknowledged authority on the changing world of work and its impact on organization culture and management practices. He is a regular speaker on the future of work and, as a director of Wisework Ltd, advises clients on creating a corporate culture which supports new working practices. He is a Visiting Executive Fellow at Henley Business School where he was Director of the Future Work Forum for 16 years and he is now Research Director for the Telework Association. He spent the majority of his professional career in HR/Personnel and was head of the HR function in Digital Equipment when the company pioneered new working practices.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (October 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262033364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262033367
  • ASIN: 0230284221
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,478,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kare Anderson VINE VOICE on November 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Co-author Peter Thomson's quote really resonated with me and my work: "'We have this strange idea that once we reach the top of the mountain we have to jump off the edge instead of working ourselves down the hill again." The two authors are steeped in the knowledge of how the way we work is radically changing, in this project-oriented, connected and increasingly complex world. The show how more options can be a benefit, both to organizations and to individuals who want more control over when, where and how we get work done. They point out that "We'll see more networks of individuals contributing to a common goal, people coming in for projects and disappearing again." Covering how and where we work, individually and collectively, as Future Work does, seems to make it a natural companion to The Corporate Lattice and Mass Career CustomizationMass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace With Today's Nontraditional Workforce. Customization, the first book on how careers can be customized to meet the needs of a company and its employees. As organizations continue to flatten and encourage more bottom-up, collaborative operations, companies that want to keep employees engaged and optimized offer employees, a lattice career option in place of the traditional "climb the career ladder" approach. Employees co-create, with their managers, mutually beneficial next steps that take into account the company's needs and the employee's desires, factoring in lifestyle needs, lateral job moves to follow special interests and more. Such an approach fosters self-organizing and collaborative skills as well as accelerating learning and increasing employee loyalty.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
What does it take to transform your workplace to grow the bottom line while enabling economic, individual and environmental health? Through insightful data, validating case studies, and clear guidance, Future Work helps leaders and organizations to reap wide-ranging benefits of progressive work practices which focus on results rather than on where, when or how work gets done. This includes enabling a more diverse group of people with different talents, perspectives and ways of working to thrive and contribute.

An important, compelling and influential book, Future Work enlightens the uninitiated while also supporting flexibility champions as they work to overcome resistance. Like Why Women Mean Business, also co-authored by Alison Maitland, Future Work leads us into the 21st Century through business initiatives that increase competitiveness and improve profit while benefiting the human race.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Severson on December 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am part way through Future Work and LOVE it! I have read dozens of books on this subject, and this one is the freshest, most well researched, and most comprehensive available. This is one of the few books on the subject of work-life integration that effectively explains and dissects the sociopolitical origins of the traditional workplace and the impact of technology and globalization on the nature of work. Perhaps most importantly, Maitland and Thomson have produced one of the only thoroughly researched works compellingly illustrating why tweaking existing ways of working (like flexwork or telecommuting) is unsuccessful in the 21st century workplace.
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Format: Hardcover
Future Work is a book about the world of work in transition, and the need to embrace the future in order to succeed. And it's a book that is at the same time both visionary and level-headed, with insights into the nature of work backed up by wide-raging case study evidence.

Written primarily for managers, its starting point is that flexible working, as usually conceived, is not enough to make a difference. A more radical and a more business-focused approach is needed to take advantage of wider changes in technology and society.

This is a radical, challenging and thought-provoking book. It is written in a lively and interesting style that makes it as close to a 'page turner' as any management book can be.

It's also done it's homework, with up-to-date data and a wide-ranging selection of case studies from around the world.

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