2 Critical Future of Work trends to follow — Ideas Pro Life
During the summer of 2019, I was in a WeWork co-working space with some other colleagues, listening to a thought-leader on the future of work. Take note of the timeline here, it was just before the pandemic. This thought leader talked of a future that seemed so far away, more like a fictional story that we all felt like, if true, was lightyears away.
Then COVID-19 showed up and bang! That future no longer seems so far away anymore! Now I can see how very probable that future is. Here I will share with you some of what I heard more than 2 years ago about the future of work and the trends that are here with us today capable of catalyzing it.
Freelancing will become the major form of employment
In the future, organizations will have very minimal needs for full-time employees, maybe just for clerical purposes. In fact, to develop strategies and execute them, they will rely on freelancers with the right competencies and experience, coming together to deliver a work package after which they get paid for their services.
This future of work trend is already gathering momentum. Already today, you can buy some services online on platforms like Fiverr and the others, in categories like
- Graphics & Design
- Programming & Tech
- Music & Audio
- Digital Marketing
- Writing & Translation, etc.
In September last year, Upwork published results of a study that showed 36% of the U.S. Workforce were Freelancers Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Great Resignation, currently ongoing around the world (most profound in the US) is another testament to this trend.
People will no longer need regular offices to be productive
Just a few months after I heard this statement, which I thought will be at least a decade or two away, we are where we are today. The pandemic, as far as I am concerned, has leapfrogged us more than 5 years into this future of work already.
Employers are currently finding it difficult to get employees back into their offices in spite of the massive vaccinations and/or reduced infection rates (until recently that is). In my organization, we currently have a limit to the number of employees who can be in the office per time as part of Covid-19 safety protocols, and the limit is gradually increasing. In spite of these we hardly get 40% occupancy of this set limit.
Before the pandemic, I remember in my organization we had a policy of one day a week work-from-home (WFH) if needed but honestly, we used to have silent and, sometimes, voiced concerns about people’s commitment to work while they WFH. Now it is evident, all thanks to Covid-19, that people can be productive working from home.
In addition, there is a massive proliferation of Coworking Workspace Chains offering workspaces on a membership basis to people and even companies, who need office spaces to work in as needed. They include Impact Hub, WeWork, Spaces, Techspace, Make Offices, just to mention a few.
In the light of these two massive trends, it behoves on today’s employees to build their careers, with them in mind. As you create a long-term career vision for yourself and set short term goals, picture a future where you might not be a full-time employee, but a freelancer.
If you live in the developing world, you might think that you are immune to this future trend. Think again. Internet penetration (even though could still be a lot better) is rapidly getting stronger in your countries. As long as there is access to broadband internet even in developing countries, the trend is coming for you!
Please share your thoughts on these trends and others that are burgeoning but not mentioned in this piece.
Originally published at https://ideasprolife.com on November 29, 2021.