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100 Predictions About the Future of Work and Living

Originally posted on thriveglobal.

The 2020s are the remote work decade. Nothing will deliver a higher quality of life upgrade that this. A few predictions of what is likely to emerge.

The 2020s are the Remote Work decade.

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. ⚽️ 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

  3. 🚜 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

  4. ⏰ 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

  5. 🏦 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

  6. 🚀 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

  7. ✅ 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

  8. 🚐 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

  9. 💀 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

  10. 🌉 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

  11. 🧰 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

  12. 🙋‍♂️ 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

  13. 🏠 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

  14. 💫 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

  15. ⚖️ 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

  16. ❤️ 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

  17. 🧶 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

  18. 🎳 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

  19. 🤝 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

  20. 💰 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

  21. 🏇 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

  22. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Community Led SaaS: as no-code continues to grow, tech is barely a barrier
    Communities become the moat important moat a company has
  23. 🤖 E-founders: digital CEOs of companies will emerge in the next 3 years

    A unicorn within 5, likely a social network

  24. 🎟 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

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

  27. 👩‍🏫 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

  28. 💣 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

  29. 🗣 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

  30. 🛠 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

  31. ⛔️ 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

  32. 😄 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

  33. 🌪 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

  34. 📈 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

  35. 🌐 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

  36. 👨‍🔬 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

  37. 🤬 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

  38. 🌍 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

  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 will 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

  66. 🎮 Work as Play: Platforms will emerge that make the processes involved with doing work more game like

    These tools help workers remain more engaged and empower workers with a deeper feeling of achievment as they make progress and complete tasks

    Workers will be rewarded as the progress and contribute more fluidly due to faster feedback loops

  67. 🏆 Incentivized Relocation: Tulsa remote — paying people $10,000 dollars to move to a different city — is one of the most interesting economic development plays in history

    Smaller nations who benefit from great weather, winter sports & beaches, have a great education system will take this a step further. Student loan debt forgiveness, large grants, technology or home setups provided

  68. 💸 Crowd Ownership: With communities as a moat, new models of ownership will emerge.

    Crowd funding was 1.0
    Crowd ownership is 2.0

    Rather than supporters having to purchase equity, each piece of equipment/product/sustenance becomes a token of ownership, redeamed at purchase

    Much like stock options incentivize and align early employees, crowd options will enable a companies earliest supporters earn equity through purchasing behavior

  69. 🎪Traveling Entertainment: People still love the things that are available in the city. Whether that is your favorite restaurant, cocktail maker, or anything else.

    These services will become as remote as their former customers lives began. Travelling the country like the circus, incredible pop up restaurants will spend a short period of time in each area before moving on to the next.

  70. 🗣 Voice Tech: You speak 7x faster than you type and you read 2x faster than you listen

    Tech that let’s you consume and input via these modes will arise and interface with every possible tool you use

  71. 🏋️‍♂️ 🏡 Micro-gyms: Hyper local fitness centers with equipment only. Classes delivered through the equipment — think Peloton, Mirror and other equipment — but will be housed elsewhere

    This will help defeat the excess capacity of these pieces of equipment currently and help where individuals don’t have enough space in their homes. Likely to be bundled with local micro

  72. 📠 Specialist Hardware: Vertical hardware reserved for very specific functions will explode to prominence

    Setups that maximize the quality of communication and collaboration will become a superpower

  73. 👨‍🎨Community Studios: Venture studios have increasingly become a thing, community studios will become even bigger.

    As it becomes easy to measure output, and therefore attribute contribution, mechanisms for communities to collaborate and equity to be awarded based on what you have done will become widespread.

    Cryptocurrency and blockchain will play and incredibly important part in this.

  74. 🚜Rural Connectivity: As the city unbundles rural infrastructure grows in importance

    Local authorities who prioritize building for this — super fast internet, cell connectivity, etc. — will attract a disproportionate number of workers

  75. 👯‍♂️Part-time: Work will become more flexible. Almost every worker will have multiple stream of revenue

    This erosion of dependence on a single income stream will be tremendously liberating for workers, many of whom will decide to work more seasonly to maximize time for doing things they love

  76. 🚧Community Moats: Companies who focus on community will dominate this decade

    An active engaged community will be the strongest moat any company can build, and the most important sign of company health will be a thriving community of users who are evangelical about the product

  77. 🧤 Individual Personalization: Rewards and incentives are generally homogenous

    Companies will shift to a more bespoke offering where workers control what they receive and when they get it with respect to certain metrics of performance and rewards

  78. 👩‍🌾 FarmVille for Work: Gamification of menial work tasks becomes big business

    As output becomes the main measure of performance, workers will be able to ‘level-up’ and use those points like a digital currency

  79. ⛓ Decentralized Credentialing: Blockchain will be leveraged to record what a workers has achieved

    As job titles become less important, what you have achieved on a granular level will be the best way to showcase your skills and expertise

  80. 👀 Surveillance Capitalism: Companies will go remote in different ways. Some will empower workers with the autonomy, freedom and trust they need to do great work. Their workers will thrive

    Others will expect to watch, track, and measure everything a worker does while working remotely. More pervasive tools that measure this will emerge

  81. 🌉 Silicon Valley Diminishes: The idea of silicon valley will be far more important than it is as a place. Almost no teams will remain HQ’d in the city. Leadership may remain for a while but eventually they will depart as well.

    Silicone Valley will become Distributed Valley decentralizing almost everything away from the city

  82. 💰 Financing Innovation: Invoice factoring, pre-selling, revenue sharing are the first steps of what will become a massive evolution in startup financing and investment

    Venture capital investment will become more brand orientated as things like rolling funds make it critical that a GP has a personal brand that draws continued investment

    The rise of the Solocapitalist will be replaced by teams and collectives that dominate different areas of expertise while ‘partner’ together on a deal by deal basis.

  83. 🏝 Remote Sabbaticals: People will use the increased flexibility to live a more nomadic life

    The will include homeschooling kids as they travel more widely, time spent in different parts of the world at different times of the year

  84. 🚚 Service Park Reinvention: The rise of work from anywhere RV owners will lead to the reimagining of the service parks that exist to service the trucking industry

    As these machines become self driving, replacing the need for operators on interstates etc., these RV’s with human inhabitants stand as the only thing keeping these parks alive

  85. 🥨 Ongoing Perks: Coffee, food orders, child care; the next wave of in home perks will give power to each worker to control exactly what they want

    Services that let companies provide them while enabling workers to personalize to their preference will explode to prominence

  86. 🎚 2 Tiered System: Office work will still be an option but it will only be offered by tier 2 companies

    The most innovative companies on the planet will all be remote-first, and increasingly ASYNC-first

  87. ☄️ Output Ends Office: The metric to measure performance in the office is how much time you spend sat in your seat all day, remote focusses on how much you get done

    Because offices make it difficult to do deep focussed work team members who choose to work there will be less productive and as a result mean that the office holds back your performance

  88. 📉4 day work weeks: The arbitrary requirement to work 5 days per week will be diminished as output emerges as the only metrics of performance that matter

    A 4 day work week will be the first step, followed by not just a mandate to work anywhere, but to work any time as well. As output tracking software improves, being able to break down tasks more granularly will enable workers to be far more flexible around hours and schedule

  89. 👩‍⚖️ Board Demands: Remote work will be recommended by the boards of directors of the biggest companies glob ally. The financial incentive to make the transition is so large that not recommending will leads to significant consequences for the businesses long-term viability
  90. 🏠In-Home Entertainment: People still love the things that are easily accessible in the city. Some people no longer want to go out to their favourite restaurant, bar, or anything else
    Expect these services to not just deliver through the ubiquitous delivery services that have emerged — expect them to offer an experience alongside their product

    An Uber like marketplace that let’s workers do this on a gig basis are highly likely

  91. 🔄 Universal Conversion: There are a million different products and services which have different fans of each. Tools will emerge that make files far more compatible across different tools, enabling collaboration with everyone allowed to use the thing they prefer
  92. 👩‍🏫 Micro schools: Age group community based micro schools will emerge rapidly. They will have far smaller class sizes with teachers that are paid a much fairer wage. Schooling will be controlled on a personalized basis rather than following a curriculum that teaches to the lowest common denominator
  93. ☁ Physical Infrastructure: Companies will increasingly provide workers with all the tools and equipment they need to be as safe, comfortable and productive at home in and office

    @FirstbaseHQ will help them supply, finance and manage this instantly

    This becomes an increasingly big and important challenge to solve as companies go internationally remote. It becomes like a physical world AWS that let’s compaies scale instantly

  94. 💰 Affiliate Marketting: Becomes less dirty and disingenuous — it get’s remodelled as community/social marketing — becomes a viable income for many people. Companies increase incentives to a more product based payment
  95. 🍹Retirement Retirement: Retirement is no longer a thing as worker choose to work older on a more flexible basis

    People stop delaying thing for later in life and start to pursue passion projects and interests due tom the freedom remote working gives them

  96. 🗺 Technology Collaboration: GPT-3, and tools like it, will become like human satellite navigation equipment, while we still need to drive the car to the end destination.
  97. 🤖Emoji Avatars: Some people like video, others don’t. Workers will have the preference to choose how the participate in video meetings.

    VR, AR, Emoji, or just straight video; workers choose what they want and their colleagues choose their preferences. Where they don’t match technology will augment

  98. 🌐VR vs. AR: Both will be tried as a means to develop deeper social bonds with people you spend little time with. There will be one clear winner

    AR strikes me as more interesting than VR because it is more personable and has the potential to communicate nuance more accurately

  99. ✈️ Travel Explosion: The unshackling of millions of people will lead to a transit revolution

    Millions of workers will take working breaks where they travel globally while continuing to work. New visa and forms of taxation will try to emerge to capture this but will prove impossible

  100. 🎭 Creativity Explosion: Side hustles, passion projects, fan subscription services will accelerate even more quickly. No-code tools that lower the barrier to entry, providing infrastructure than let’s individuals create better product/content more quickly will be a super power for user

Source: thriveglobal

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