The way we work is changing rapidly, from where and when we work, to what jobs we do and how we’re compensated. The next 5 to15 years will bring about even more transformation.
These changes will have major implications for health equity and well-being—after all, work and health are closely connected, providing income and benefits that can enable us to lead healthy lifestyles, and the social connections and sense of purpose that help us to thrive.
Over the years, jobs have shifted from manual labor to knowledge and service work—from steady Monday-through-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. work hours to 24/7 or on-demand schedules, and from salaried jobs with benefits to gig and freelance work.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has accelerated many of these changes, and illuminated the health and economic inequities experienced by people working essential jobs, such as grocery store clerks, transit operators and janitors—jobs that are more often held by people of color.