Published: 01 June 2022

Launch of the Future of Work Research Centre

The University of Surrey’s new Future of Work Research Centre was launched on 26th May 2022. The new Research Centre will focus on the nature and organization of work including job quality, employment conditions and well-being consequent upon rapid technological advancements, economic developments, and societal value changes.

Professor Ying Zhou, Director of the Future of Work Research Centre at the University of Surrey, said: 

“With so much uncertainty in our work environment, we’ll be looking at the critical questions facing the future workplace – from analysis of job quality and digital technologies through to the hopes and perils of hybrid working. 

“Artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics technologies are changing the nature of jobs, with massive implications for training, skills, and careers. Our new Future of Work Research Centre will draw on world-leading expertise across the University of Surrey, covering artificial intelligence, digital technology, and human resource management, as well as working alongside industry and policy partners. Across our work, we’ll be looking to offer advice on how fairness and justice can be secured in an increasingly diverse workforce.” 

Furthermore, the Research Centre is being established just as the UK Government launches its own Future of Work Review headed by MP Matt Warman. 

The launch was opened by Professor Max Lu (President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey). Following introductions by Professor Bran Nicol (Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) and Professor Ying Zhou (Director of the Future of Work Research Centre), Professor Glenn Parry (Head of the Department of Digital Economy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation) provided a historical overview of the impact of technologies on work and employment. Professor Francis Green (Professor of Work and Education Economics, UCL Institute of Education) highlighted the risks to job quality from rapidly evolving digital technologies, and Jonny Gifford (Senior Advisor for Organisational Behaviour at CIPD) reflected on the hopes and perils of hybrid working. Professor Steve Wood (Dean of Surrey Business School) provided the concluding remarks followed by a formal dinner at Lakeside Restaurant.