In brief

In brief

  • The current COVID-19 pandemic shows that virtual working is here to stay - making right now the best time to rethink the future of work.
  • For ten weeks, Accenture, Vitra, external experts, and 15 selected companies have worked together to form a vision for this new future.
  • The result is a manifesto for a new world of working and concrete scenarios that describe it: our #preferredfuture.
  • We have summarized the results in a report that explains the background and provides context.

Why we have to rethink work

COVID-19 has changed our working life radically, offering a unique chance to completely redefine how we want to work in the future. Which skills will be obsolete, which will be more important than ever? How should the collaboration between humans and machines work? How do we lead and how do we learn? Do we still actually need office spaces or is home office sufficient? What function will our work spaces have? And: Are next-generation talents still looking for one long-term employer at all?

New work concepts are needed to redefine collaboration, office spaces, hierarchy, and our understanding of leadership. Read the most important findings in the Executive summary.

From co-creation to the future of work

Using a co-creation approach, we have designed future scenarios for the work of tomorrow and developed concrete suggestions and concepts. To this end, experts for new work, experienced managers, business thinkers, and next-generation talents have combined their knowledge and ideas.


Companies from a range of industries


Weeks with three hybrid workshops and virtual working sessions


Futurizing Phases

The #preferredfuture was created step by step – in five phases, both virtually and on site. We used innovative, creative methods from art, therapy, and coaching. The goal: to think freely – without limits or restrictive preconceptions.

  1. Provoking: We challenge ourselves
    "What if...?" We examined the trends in our working world and considered all the possibilities of how they could be developed further.
  2. Exploring: Thinking beyond the conventional
    After an analysis, we worked out the basic principles and parameters that shape our working environment today and tomorrow.
  3. Futuring: What do we want to change, what will be brand new?
    How do the parameters change? What is coming, what do we want next? In the search for answers, we drew on the ideas of the first phase.
  4. Designing: Shaping future scenarios
    We sketched, questioned, and expanded on designs until compelling stories were created that motivated us to implement them.
  5. Building: Co-creating our future starts tomorrow
    We have selected scenarios that we want to implement ourselves and have begun the transformation. Together we are taking steps toward the future of work.

The report

We have summarized our approach and results in this report.

The Manifesto: This is our #preferredfuture

How should we work and lead in the future? What environments do we need so that people can develop their potential? We have defined common principles.

In detail: The expert view on Work. Lead. Space.

Together with proven experts, we have analyzed current trends and ventured to make tangible predictions: Which developments are realistic?

Scenarios: Stories of the new working world

We describe our #preferredfuture with four different future scenarios that inspire companies to take the next steps.

View All
"We have embarked on an exciting, futurizing adventure and are now keeping in touch to build our Preferred Future together."

— SHIRLEY SHEFFER, Managing Director, Talent & Organization/Human Potential, Lead – Austria, Switzerland, Germany & Russia

Clients*, partners and experts


A closer look

Ideas and trends for Work. Lead. Space

Michael Liley, Shirley Sheffer und Raphael Gielgen

The 5 Futurizing Phases

Dr. Christine Solf (Study Lead) 

Our clients' motivation and challenges

LANXESS, Henkel, and Siemens Mobility 

The future of learning

Raphael Gielgen (Vitra) and Moritz Ettl (4ED1) 

Our clients’ expectations

Henkel, LANXESS, and Siemens Mobility

Shirley Sheffer

Managing Director, Talent & Organization/Human Potential, Lead Austria – Switzerland, Germany & Russia

Sigrid Stinnes

Managing Director Innovation & Design, Lead Austria – Switzerland, Germany & Russia


Productivity in uncertain times through the elastic digital workplace
Seeking responsible leadership
The virtual workforce: Why build when you can rent?

Get the essentials

We have brought together all the results in a report that explains the background and provides orientation.

The big read

40 minute read

Work. Lead. Space. Co-creating our Preferred Future

Read our comprehensive report with all the results.


Short on time

Executive summary 

15 minute read

Would you prefer the most important findings to be short and compact? This is what the Executive Summary is for.

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