Survey Results Examine the Future of Work and Rewards

April 25, 2018

April 25, 2018 — Scottsdale, Ariz. — New data released today by WorldatWork, a nonprofit total rewards association, examines the future of work and rewards, finding that now more than ever, companies need to leverage their HR and rewards professionals to respond to ever-changing workforce demands.

The survey, The Future of Work and Rewards, was conducted by WorldatWork in partnership with Dow Scott, Ph.D., of Loyola University Chicago, in order to gather data to identify how rewards strategies, policies and programs are changing in response to changes in work and in the workforce.

“Changes in technology, customer demand, the marketplace, pay preferences, ability to measure the quality and quantity of work, availability of talent, and a transient workforce will affect work and rewards,” Scott said. “Although respondents overall agreed that these forces would have a substantial impact on work, rewards professionals believed these forces will have less impact on rewards programs and practices.”

The survey found employee development and career opportunities as the aspect of total rewards often expected to increase the most in the next three to five years.

“Employee values and preferences are increasingly shaping both the work culture and the physical workspace due to increasing demands for work-life balance, work schedule flexibility and opportunities to work remotely,” Scott said. “With an increasingly competitive environment for talent and with unemployment hovering near 4%, employers will likely feel compelled to cater to individual employee rewards preferences and expectations for more personalized workplaces and schedules.”

Key Findings:

  • Changes in technology have the biggest perceived impact on the way work will be done in the next five years, while changes in pay preferences are expected to have a smaller effect.
  • 56% of respondents expect technology to reduce the number of employees by 5% or less.
  • Shifting marketplaces are expected to lead to increases in employee development and flexible schedules.

This report summarizes the results of an October 2017 survey of WorldatWork members. On Oct. 25, 2017, 4,996 survey invitations were sent electronically to WorldatWork members within the United States. The survey closed on Nov. 27, 2017, with 337 responses. The dataset was cleaned, resulting in a final dataset of 210 responses.

About WorldatWork

WorldatWork (  is the leading nonprofit professional association in compensation and total rewards. We serve those who design and deliver total rewards programs to cultivate engaged, effective workforces that power thriving organizations. We accomplish this through education and certification; idea exchange; knowledge creation; information sharing; research; advocacy; and affiliation and networking. Founded in the United States in 1955, today WorldatWork serves total rewards professionals throughout the world working in organizations of all sizes and structures.

Have Questions?


+1 877 951 9191

USA and Canada

+1 480 951 9191

Other Countries


Email Us