5 ways to prepare for the workplace of 2026, starting right now

As economic power shifts to Asia, the world’s population ages, and technologies like AI and VR advance, the world of work will become a more international, multi-generational and robotic place. Here are five ways you can prepare.

As economic power shifts to Asia, the world’s population ages, and technologies like AI and VR advance, the world of work will become a more international, multi-generational and robotic place. But don’t worry – here are five ways you can prepare for the workplace of 2026, plus a selection of free online courses to help you start right now.

5 ways to prepare for the workplace of 2026 FutureLearn

1. Get along with anyone

In The Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030, the UK government predicts that the workforce of tomorrow “will be multi-generational, older, and more international, with women playing a strong role.” In this more diverse working environment, it will be increasingly important to understand, appreciate and communicate with people of all cultures and ages.

Learn to get along with anyone with:
Developing Cultural Intelligence for Leadership
How to Succeed in the Global Workplace
Intercultural Communication.

 

2. Discover the secrets of success

For much of the past three decades, the Chinese economy has experienced double-digit growth. Now, as its growth slows, the country is working hard to innovate and keep its position as the world’s second-largest economy. Knowing why China has flourished in the last 30 years – and what it plans to do next – will be valuable to any business worldwide.

Discover the secrets of China’s success with:
Foundation of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in China.

 

3. Know your enemy

Research from McKinsey & Company predicts that “technologies could automate 45% of the activities people are paid to perform and about 60% of all occupations could see 30% or more of their constituent activities automated.” Rather than worrying about robots taking your job, how about getting to know them a little better? As more of us work alongside bots, knowing more about autonomous systems will be helpful for many careers.

Get to know your artificially intelligent enemy with:
Building a Future with Robots
Introducing Robotics.

 

4. Ask where things come from

It’s easy to take the cereal, milk, bowl and spoon on your kitchen table for granted in the morning, but have you ever wondered where they come from? Globalisation and technological change mean that every business is increasingly sourcing from and selling to suppliers and customers worldwide. Understanding the supply chains that underpin these interactions will be a vital skill in the next 10 years.

Find out where things come from with:
Supply Chains in Practice: How Things Get to You
The Digital Economy: Effective Supply Chain Management.

 

5. Love to learn

The US Department of Labour has said that 65% of school children today will be employed in jobs that have yet to be created. Couple this with the fact that ageing populations mean longer working lives for all of us, and it becomes clear that everyone must be thinking about what new job they’ll be doing in 10, 20, 30 or maybe even 40 years’ time. Being able to adapt – to continually learn the skills to succeed in business – is a must.

Fall in love with learning with:
Learning Online: Learning and Collaborating
Get Started with Online Learning
The Crowdsourced Guide to Learning.

Or take a look at all of our courses, to find the right one for you, and learn more about planning for the future with Futurism and Business: Dealing with Complexity.

Category Business

Comments (22)

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  • TOYI LEONIDAS

    It will be better to every body to Create his own busy after that you may give jobs to many people

  • Huda ennabeh

    Thank you

  • Elizabeth

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  • Tab Nancy

    Hello Future.
    First i want to appreciate the executive and other stakeholders of Future Learn for creating the platform to learn free at least for the head knowledge in case you have the cash to afford a certificate. Although, I am yet start an idea course here. Notwithstanding, i want say that, accessing the internet can be very costly as some of us can’t afford data subscription to religiously follow every bit of the lesson as required. I want to solicit, perhaps Future Learn can assistant in accessing the INTERNET at a subsided rate. Because i am really desire learn to become impactful and relevant in any environment i may find my self.
    Meanwhile, I would love if future learn can help me find courses on SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION and PSYCHOLOGY. I am an educationist preparing for my master’s on either of the above courses.
    Once again thank you to Future Learn.

  • Santhosh

    Pretty interesting

  • YINMINTHU

    thanks a lot , I like FutureLearn

  • Moneer

    Dear,
    It is to remind you still I didn’t receive course materials.
    Thanks,

  • Hussein Adow Abdille

    What does free learning mean?what shocks me is that despite courses are been advertised free how comes at the end you are asked to purchase the certificate?What about to one who can buy or has nothing .Please advice future learn while am very reciprocal to advance my skills and knowledge my problem is that i can not buy the certificates.

    • FutureLearn

      We believe that everyone deserves the best learning experiences and so we want to ensure that our core offer remains free. It’s our mission to offer everyone, anywhere the chance to learn from world-leading academics.

      Whilst our courses are free to learners, the platform and the courses are costly for us and our partners to produce and maintain. The Open University, in addition to providing us with more than 40 years of distance learning experience, has provided the initial investment to get us up and running. Our ultimate goal is to be self sustaining as soon as we can. To achieve this we’re exploring a variety of paid-for services that provide additional benefits to our learners.

      Most of our courses now offer Certificates of Achievement and Statements of Participation, allowing our learners to prove that they took part in a course for which we charge a small fee. The revenue from these products helps us to develop and maintain the platform as well as enabling our partners to offset some of the costs of content creation.

      We’re also offering invigilated exams on some courses to allow learners to earn a Statement of Attainment. These can serve as a good way to show evidence

      • Lilian

        Thanks future learn. You are doing a great job.

  • Dalbabu Mensah Paul

    I always say FutureLearn is the best online education organization and here we are, the above things thought will never be found anywhere.

  • Rashid mahmood

    Thanks

  • Teem A.

    Thanks to have such information!

  • Htet Aung Kyaw

    Thanks

  • Olushola Balogun

    Thanks for the great privilege. I love to study/work in abroad especially that has to do with Nursing. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  • hary setyowibowo

    Inspiring!! thanks

  • OFERE MERCY

    Thank you for the information.

  • Maryam

    Thank you for your ettention. I will try to learn by heart.

  • Tu Mai

    I want to study work

  • Anoh Gwendoline Tebeck

    I love it so much .

  • David Ojah

    Hello Lily.
    Thank you for your emails and thinking of me, appreciate and love your courses. One favour though, do you know if and when, FL will be running Digital Leadership offered by Henley/Reading University?

    Best wishes,

    David

  • GEDEFAW MAZENGIA

    So smart; You know what this has to be interpreted practically. I will apply it soon and I know I could change my working behavior inline with those 5 way. Thank you