Mentions of the future of work within the filings of companies in the mining industry fell 11% between the second and third quarters of 2021. In total, the frequency of sentences related to the future of work between October 2020 and September 2021 was 614% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.
When companies in the mining industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports, and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. The future of work is one of these topics – companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.
To assess whether the future of work is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the mining industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies that have mentioned the future of work at least once in filings during the past 12 months – this was 58% compared to 10% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to the future of work.
Of the 50 biggest employers in the mining industry, Magnitogorsk Metallurgicheskiy Kombinat was the company that referred to the future of work the most between October 2020 and September 2021. GlobalData identified 34 future of work-related sentences in the Russia-based company's filings – 0.3% of all sentences. Tata Steel mentioned the future of work the second most – the issue was referred to in 0.2% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high future of work mentions included Anglo American, Honeywell International, and MMC Norilsk Nickel.
Across all companies in the mining industry the filing published in the third quarter of 2021 that exhibited the greatest focus on the future of work came from South32. Of the document's 1,419 sentences, seven (0.5%) referred to the future of work.
This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on the future of work and how important the issue is considered within the mining industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning the future of work more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into the future of work have been successes or failures.
GlobalData also categorises the future of work mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the third quarter of 2021 was "collaboration tools", which made up 57% of all future of work subtheme mentions by companies in the mining industry.