65 Predictions About the Future of Life and Work

December 3, 2020

65 Predictions About the Future of Life and Work

The 2020s are the Remote Work decade.

Remote work has the potential to be the biggest quality of life upgrade in work history.

A few predictions of what is likely to emerge

1. 🤖Personal RPA: robotic process automation will transform work for individuals.

No-code tools that enable workers to built bots that automate menial parts of their roles will be huge

2. 🚀 UI-Less Tech: friction while working remotely is one of the biggest communication problems for remote

Instant communication which isn’t distracting, disrupting or about surveillance will be super important

3. 💀 Death of HQ: the office is dead but offices will persist. They’ll be used less frequently then hardly at all

Co-working, subscription clubs, will emerge that let workers who prefer that mode of work to operate from there

4. 🌉 City Unbundling: the allure of the city has been eroded by technology. You can easily spend time there without living there

Cost of living has made them irrational. Modern time-shares for city living, city services being distributed are inevitable in

5. 🧰 Vertical Tools: @NotionHQ, @LoomHQ, @zoom_us etc. are incredible horizontal products that do nearly anything

Vertical products that do one thing, operating around a constraint that looks like a feature, will explode to prominence

Meetings, async & culture big opportunities

6. 🙋♂️ Presence: tools that provide an estimate of when you should expect a response will become big

These will measure the tasks your team are doing and use this to set expectations, allowing teams to escalate more easily when necessary

7. 🚐 Remote Living: Work from anywhere RVs will become huge business

Associated business parks and services will spring up. This will happen even more rapidly as self driving tech emerges

Expect a @Tesla product in this space

8. 🏠 WFH Dominance: the majority of workers will work from home a majority of the time by the end of this decade

Employers will be responsible for ensuring the health and safety of teams operating at home

9. 💫 WFH Experience: offices have emerged to provide incredible experiences inside some companies. Lunches, launderettes, child care

Companies will differentiate in this domain rapidly. The remote culture and experience a company offers will be a massive attraction for workers

10. ⚖️ Lifework Balance: massive increases in part-time and freelance work

A recognition that we no longer have to sacrifice work for living, we can organize work around our lives

11. ❤️ Family Reconnections: modern living tears families apart. The search for opportunity typically means relocation

Remote will see huge numbers of people return home, leading to more time with friend and family

12. 🧶 Hobby Renaissance: commuting and city living leave no freedom to do the things we are most passionate about

Working remotely allows us to surf or ski before work, travel more frequently, develop new passions

13. 🎳 Company Social Networks: stronger  corporate social channels, think company specific linkedins, that help develop a cohesive sense of connection between team mates

Stripe have a version of this which will likely be replicated/become more widespread.

14. 🤝 Relationships Reimagined: closest social contact decided by your boss’s HR policies is bad

Leads to shallow superficial relationships because the only thing you have in common is your employers bottom line

Tools that inspire deeper new & existing relationships will be huge

15. 💰 Payment Preferences: workers will have the power to shift the currency they receive payment in at the touch of a button

Fractional ownership of their company over salary will become an option

16. 🏇 Venture Collectives: communities of founders, makers and operators will find one another and build tools to solve the problems they are facing

These teams will be uniquely placed to do this as they’ll be collections of people operating at the cutting edge of innovation

17. 👨👩👧👦 Community Led SaaS: as no-code continues to grow, tech is barely a barrier

Communities become the moat important most a company has

18. 🤖 E-founders: digital CEOs of companies will emerge in the next 3 years

A unicorn within 5, likely a social network

19. 🎟 Remote Visa: small nations coming together in order to attract remote workers at different stages of the year

Huge opportunity to synchronise education to enable families to be more fluid in their locations

20. 🏡 Co-working Homes: micro co-working spaces on every street, a decentralized WeWork that comes with all the amenities

21. ✈️ Remote Retreats: purpose built destinations that allow for entire companies to fly into a campus for a synchronous week

Likely staffed with facilitators and educators who train staff of how to maximize effectiveness

22. 👩🏫 Democratize Coaching: everyone who want to will have access to a coach. This will help people perform and optimize

Companies will provide these to team, remote focussed coaches will be incredibly

23. 💣 Hybrid Implosion: the worst of both worlds because it dilutes the benefits of remote or office work

The maximization of the negatives of each mode will mean that hybrid companies are the least successful of the 3 options: remote, office, hybrid

24. 🗣 Synchronous Rejection: for too long we’ve accepted disruption and distraction as an excuse for collaboration and communication

Most knowledge working jobs don’t have to be synchronous, productivity is detrimentally effected when they are

25. 🛠 Tool Experts: VP of Notion, Head of Figma, Firstbase Manager

The tools needed to effectively work remotely will lead to deep specialists inside organization who optimize the use of that product for that teams needs

26. ⛔️ Meeting Death: wasting 2 hours travelling to a meeting will end. The benefits of in-person are eroded by the benefits you get of not travelling

Conferences and quarterly networking events will becomes more important for cultivating in-person relationships

27. 😄 Happier People: modern office working has led to the deepening of major societal issues

People will find meaning alongside work by depending on the social relationships of work far less

28. 🌪 Hyper-Turnover: we are about to live through the highest period of turnover between companies in history

Workers will reorganize rapidly, choosing the workplace that suits their working style best

29. 📈 Quality of Life: disposable income will increase. It no longer makes sense to live in a high-cost of living city with a reliatively low quality of life

People will live close enough to cities to go into them 1-3 times a month. Rapid mass transit becomes very important

30. 🏦 Third Space: Office and Working from Home will be joined by somewhere close by that a number of people will use

Supermarkets or local bank branches should emerge as a convenient ubiquitous location option — if they are smart

31. ⏰ Asynchronous Work: Offices are instantaneous gratification distraction factories where synchronous work makes it impossible to get stuff done

Tools that enable asynchronous work are the most important thing globally remote teams need. A lot of startups will try to tackle this

32. ⚽️ Hobbie Renaissance: Remote working will lead to a rise in people participating in hobbies and activities which link them to people in their local community

This will lead to deeper, more meaningful relationships which overcome societal issues of loneliness and issolation

33. 🚜 Rural Living: World-class people will move to smaller cities, have a lower cost of living & higher quality of life

These regions must innovate quickly to attract that wealth. Better schools, faster internet connections are a must

34. 🌐 Constant Presence: Asynchronous work lets you have the issolation to do deep work but it’s not always required

Communication solutions which enable presence, like an open mic while gaming, will become more compelling

35. 👨🔬 Bad Tech: Remote will grow so popular so quickly that it will attract people who have no interest in it other than greed — like blockchain/crypto in 2017

Their lack of understanding of remote work will lead to them replicating the bad parts of office working remotely

36. 🤬 Remote Rejection: Certain demographics and generations will reject the transition. Their benefit — that everyone in the office is like them and it’s easier for them to progress — will be their reason

Companies that don’t transition will be left behind

37. 🌍 Diversity & Inclusion: The most diverse and inclusive teams in history will emerge rapidly

Companies who embrace it have a first-mover advantage to attract great talent globally

Companies who don’t will lose their best people to their biggest competitors

38. ✅ Output focus: Time will be replaced as the main KPI for judging performance by productivity and output. Great workers will be the ones who deliver what they promise consistently

Advancement decisions will be decided by capability rather than who you drink beer with after work

39. 🚘 1 Car Households: The rise of remote will have tremendous indirect benefits towards slashing pollution

Families will benefit from only needing one car slashing cost of living, potentially cutting commuting a lot

40. 💰 Private Equity: the hottest trend of the next decade for private equity will see them purchase companies, make them remote-first

The cost saving in real-estate at scale will be eye-watering. The productivity gains will be the final nail in the coffin for the office

41. ☠️ The death of Coworking: The last recession was the beginning of the end for bespoke vanity office

The next recession will spell the same thing for co-working spaces

The rise of remote will mean a majority of the 255m desk jobs globally are remote by 2029

42. 💘 Talent Wars: Remote work is the perk that is most sought after by workers globally. This will only increase

Remote-first companies will disrupt every incumbent who doesn’t/isn’t able to make that transition

43. ✍️ Written Communication: the most important skill for workers to cultivate. Reading and understanding also key

Cultural issues arising from misunderstanding meaning behind the way people write becomes a big issue

44. 😴 Working Too Much: Companies worry that the workers won’t work enough when operating remotely.

The opposite will be true and become a big problem

Remote workers burning out because they work too much will have to be addressed

45. 👀 Distraction Avoidance: The home office will skyrocket in popularity. A space at home to get away a necessity

There will be an explosion of people purchasing standalone units for their backyards for this.

46. 🌍 Global Citizens: Individuals with no national attachment become ubiquitous. Challenges of paying people cross border due to compliance and legal issues slowly fade away as the world becomes more borderless

47. ✈️ Retreat Destinations: Global hubs will pop-up that cater to remote teams getaways

Resort-like escapes with a deep focus on team building, collaboration, planning, and efficiency. Hotels with facilitators /coaches who assist teams for the duration

48. ❤️ Life-Work Balance: The rise of remote will lead to people re-prioritizing what is important to them

Organizing your work around your life will be the first noticeable switch. People realizing they are more than there job will lead to a deeper purpose in other areas

49. 💹 Fractional Ownership: remote work will make advancement less important/more difficult

Rather than reward being a better title, fractional ownership could enable workers to be more easily rewarded with ownership of their companies/make the market for equity more liquid

50. 💩 Bullshit Tasks: The need to pad out your 8 hour day will evaporate, replaced by clear tasks and responsibilities

Workers will do what needs to be done rather than wasting their trying to look busy with the rest of the office

51. 🌏 Decentralized Opportunity: Remote work will do more for inequality than anything in history. Workers everywhere will find the best, highest paying job

The fear that this will depreciate wages will be unfounded as companies will need more talent than exists

52. ♿️ Accessible Jobs: Remote work will make work more accessible than it has ever been

Nothing will stop workers getting the job they deserve because there will be no obstacles in their way

53. 🛠️ Remote Tools: Companies operating remotely now will have created tools every remote team on the planet needs @Zapier, @Gitlab, @GitHub, @FirstbaseHQ will spawn Mafias who take these internal tools and create startups around them

Several $Billion Startups to emerge this way

54. 🤹♀️ Multiple Jobs: The gig/freelancer economy will evolve. Remote work allows workers to have multiple employers

The difference in terms of reliability and consistency will be huge, eradicating doubt, lead to better conditions for workers

55. 📈 Remote JobS: There won’t be enough remote jobs for at least the next 5 years. World-class people wil drive the change

They will demand more remote opportunities and realize the influence they have to make their companies give it to them

56. 💾 Remote Infrastructure: The focus on the sexy won’t change any time soon

There is a missing half of remote work that’s neglected because it’s difficult, boring, and unsexy

It will be the most critical. Until that’s solved remote teams won’t scale globally easily

57. 🎴No Code: Will grows to dominate creation @webflow, @figmadesign, amongst others will democratize access unlike ever before. Remote workers who have an area of expertise and one of these broad skills will be unicorns at first before everyone else realizes the need

58. 🤗 Social Contact: Loneliness, disconnection neither improved or worsened by remote work

A number of people’s main social contact comes at work, with people decided by their bosses hiring policy

Remote work must lead to deeper more meaningful relationships with friends/family

59. 🧘♂️Health & Wellbeing: A lack of commute will give workers 25 extra days a year to do other things

Workers will exploit the freedom they have to organize things more freely in their day. Afternoon runs, morning meditation, 2 things a lot of people I know now do

60. 👶 Child Connection: Hearing your child’s first laugh, seeing their first steps won’t just be in the memory of one parent

Being there, feeling like your children know you. Dropping them at school each day. Small things that remote gives

61. 🎫 Visa Issues: The problem with workers having to leave a job due to the expiry of their visas will no longer exist

Companies won’t accept losing their best people simply because their right to be in a specific country expires

Remote will be an easy option

62. 🌎 International Talent: Great for developing countries. International companies will access to talent globally

Access to opportunity will be decentralized

63. 👑 Job Title Death: What your job title is will become more irrelevant as remote work becomes more prominent

What you do, what you're capable of, the tools you can wield will enable you to do jobs that break you free from the shackles of a title

64. 🛠️ Universal Tools: Global workforce that understands and the same SAAS services means technical debt for training =$0

Companies add another seat to SaaS platform and worker uses the same tool they would use if they were in an office or with a different company

65. 👴 Older Workforce: Boomers may be standing in the way of the remote work revolution happening quickly, believe least in its benefits, lack the trust for it to emerge

Ironically, remote work will allow them to work far more easily later in life

Remote work is the biggest workplace revolution in history and nothing will deliver a higher quality of life increase in the next decade than this. Workers having more flexibility to decide their work schedule, able to operate when they are most productive rather than a fixed day, enables a far better future of work than the one we currently experience. Organizing work around your life is a huge transition with major implications. Gone is the requirement to beg your bosses permission to go to an appointment, it is the ability to drop and pick your child up from work every day with time in the afternoon to go for your recharging run.

Being handcuffed to an office and expected to live in a high cost of living city with a low quality of life is a remnant of the industrial revolution. The devolution of offices into almost factory-like conditions as distraction factory adult kids clubs is complete. The office has become the worst place on the planet to get the isolation and focus you need to do deep work.

Make no mistake, remote work is exploding to prominence right now. We are living through the inflection point today. Shortly, workers will realize their power and influence to demand it or vote with their feet.