The Future of Work – Future tenses in English.

What we do in the future:
Make plans/Schedules
Make predictions
Make Promises

All present tenses can be put into the future with will or using a time place holder. Even Present perfect constructions can be put into the future with will. – (below. Full explanation of all future tenses)

Phrases that demonstrate this:


1. What will the workplace look like in 10 years time?

Play an extract from a podcast. Ask students to think of future statemens about:
No retirement
Growth of Freelancing (the human cloud)
Flat hierarchies?

2. My plans for Easter.

I am going to the Czech republic for Easter. We set off on Thursday evening in a hire-car that we will pick up that night. By 6pm we should be ‘on the road’, driving towards the boarder. Hopefully we will have booked accommodation by the time we set off! More likely, the arguments about where to stay and how much to pay will be running through the holiday.
There are five of us in one car travelling up to ‘Bohemian Switzerland’. By Monday evening we will have spent 4 nights and 4 days in very close proximity to each other, so patience and understanding will be important. I think that the group will get along ok in the end, as long as we don’t find ourselves in a very isolated spot. Without a friendly bar to hang out in, tempers might fray.
I am certainly looking forward to seeing a new part of the Czech Republic. The weather will be fine, according to latest forecasts and I will do my best to ensure everybody gets along and we have a good time.


The future of work resources:

Automation as a threat to Labour. Podcast:  (difficult. 2:30 to 4:50 – introduction to issue. – man who has written a book about the subject.)

Various topics. Podcast: (intermediate)

Five ways your work will change in the future. Guardian: (difficult)

Raising age of Retirement: (intermediate – some new expressions. “In a lather” – excited/upset/bubbly)

Growing inequality: Podacst. BBC Business Daily. Google gentrification, the internet and inequality:  (v.difficult)

Overview of Future Tenses and how we use them.

We can put many present tense constructions into the future with a time indicator:

Present Simple

  • Typically a routine event in the future. “The bus arrives at 10” “Our office opens at 10am” (as it does every day)

Present Present continuous

  • A fixed plan at a point in the future. “I am working in the office this afternoon, so see you there”
    “We are flying to Dubai next summer”

Can put present constructions into the future using ‘will’ (or less frequently ‘ going to’)

Present Perfect -> Future Perfect

  • The end of a activity in the future. “On Sunday I will have finished my breakfast by the time she arrives. “

Present Perfect Progressive -> Future perfect progressive

  • Describes an activity that you will be doing at some point the future. “In May, I will have been working here for 3 years” – could be somth you are doing now or not. Could be something that continues after that point too.
  • Then we also have the Will/going to form.

Present Simple -> Future Simple

  • Relevant for any statement about the future: “I will/am going to fly to Dubai next year” “I will/am going to have a nap now”

Don’t believe your text books there is no distinction between the usage of ‘will’ and ‘am going to’. – They are 100% interchangeable.

Present Progressive -> Future Progressive

  • Future plans or activities but at a specific point in time. “I will be driving to Moscow on Saturday” (Note can also say ‘am going to be driving’, but much less common.)

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