Welcome to the first edition of a brand-new newsletter focused on Work. Work as an economic activity, as craft, as a creative pursuit, as a tool, as a historical concept…
I’ll share weekly tidbits and insights about our sometimes troubling, mostly cordial, but oh-so-very-important relationship with work.
We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 epidemic is altering the way we spend our time, interact with other people, and do business. Crises are coming: global economic depression at a magnitude we haven’t seen since the Great Depression; massive unemployment throughout the world; a more hostile, less globalized political order… A brave new world.
However, this great disruption will force us to reflect and act in ways that we wouldn’t have done a few months ago. Maybe you will find yourself out of a job you hated— a blessing in disguise, maybe you have a newly found appreciation for your job, or maybe this is the push you needed to start that side business you have been considering.
Whatever might happen, it’s clear that work is undergoing a massive transformation. All our beliefs about stability, money, risk and productivity are not so clear anymore.
Below are some ideas—sketches really— of what I think can happen. They are as much as wish list as a list of predictions. They describe a type of future I want to be a part of.
Work in 2030
1. Will reflect our agency and interests
People will follow their interests and skills. From meditation teachers, to marketing experts, to AI researchers, to chefs.
Most people will be owners of their time and labor.
Your interests and values will determine the type of work you do, not the other way around.
2. More flexible and distributed
There will be an explosion of independent workers that are self-employed, or have a small business, that work on a “gig” basis.
The gig economy will eventually be bigger than the paycheck economy. (Yes, I said it.)
There will be millions of people collaborating with businesses small and large across geographies and industries.
3. Mostly remote
Offices will still exist, but more people will opt for remote-first or at least remote-friendly jobs.
We will see new types of work deals: work from home (WFH) a couple of days a week, or office hours during the morning and WFH in the afternoon.
There will be an exodus to smaller cities and more rural areas. As people realize that they can be as productive while working from their homes, they will decide to move to smaller cities to have a better quality of life, maybe to be closer to their families or just to pay cheaper rent.
4. Collaborative across geographies
Tech will allow for more serendipitous collaborations by linking people with the same interests who might be in different cities and countries.
Intellectual and scientific pursuits will be easier to start and maintain between amateurs and experts working together.
As we are facing global challenges that need global solutions, distributed teams will be able to tap into individual resources but still work together and share findings to achieve better results.
5. Accessible: skills > credentialism
Partnerships will happen between teenagers, 30 year olds and people over 60. It will be based on interests and skills, not based on a diploma or title.
People in the developing world or from non-traditional backgrounds will be able to compete for jobs based on their talents and projects, not their credentials.
This is a very rough draft of what work will look like, I know. What else am I missing? Let me know.
With this post I am extremely happy to tell you that I’m starting a new consulting project for people who think they can do more with their work life; those who want to craft a new path or redefine the one they are in.
It is called Form Consulting. If you are interested, you can find more information at form.consulting