What’s the future of work in the new decade?
Uhh. . .how long ya got? #bigquestions
As I’m writing this, it’s a new year and even a new decade, depending on when you start counting.
And as is true every new year, and especially every decade, experts come out of the filing cabinets with their predictions about the future of work.
So, I turned to my experts: YOU.
In December 2019, I asked members of my Insider Community two questions:
- What’s the BIGGEST change you predict to happen to the world of work in the next ten years? and
- If you had a magic wand, what’s the one thing you’d personally change in the next decade for yourself or those you love?
Some signed their name. For those who did, I’ve added it to their prediction in Q1. I chose to omit it from Q2, since that Q is about what they’d personally change and the answers seemed a bit, well, personal.
So here they are: predictions about the future of work, courtesy of my Insiders.
(Not yet in our Insider Community? It’s where I share the best stories, strategies and encouragement each week to help you navigate the future of work for you. Want to be included? Sign up here.)
Your Predictions on the Future of Work: 2020 Forward
Q1: What’s the BIGGEST change you predict to happen to the world of work in the next ten years (2020-2030)?
The unnecessary-ness of a college degree. Debt and outdated materials are making it useless in workforce development.
Submitted by Angela Evans, Ed.D
As leaders who came of age in military-inspired, command and control environments retire, new standards will be set on “this is how you lead,” including more collaboration and better communication.
Work from home (or wherever) will be the norm and so when colleagues come together, they will be more relaxed (no crazy commuting) and happier to engage with each other.
Submitted by Lucie Sandel
After finding that their dispersed teams actually are less productive and less engaged than teams that are physically in one place, major companies reinvest in office space and hire locally once again.
80 % – 90 % of my current job responsibilities [as an executive assistant] will be handled by some form of IA.
Work will become remote and we will “office” on occasion and relish these connection points.
More automation puts many traditional jobs at risk. These include truck drivers, medical assistants, lawyers, accountants, marketers, and teachers.
Submitted by Chris Tomseth
Submitted by Melissa
Submitted by Peter F. Eder
Submitted by Mohamed Sirajudeen Coimbatore Salam
As we increasingly get frustrated with the predictive limitations of AI (evidenced by how many times Apple tracks people who say “no, dammit Siri”), the demand for human assistants and support staff accelerates.
With so many things going digital, I predict the overall speed of work to increase. There are many ways I can see this being beneficial: mobile access will continue to provide access to resources anytime and from almost anywhere, digital tools will increase instantaneous collaboration and streamline complicated tasks or processes, virtual meetings will continue to reduce the need and cost for travel.
However, there are also some potential downfalls to this increased need for speed: constant connectivity and perceived availability will decrease people’s ability to clearly separate work time from personal time, the consumer’s need for instant gratification requires organizations to supply real time access to resources and support.
Submitted by Tammy Dudek
Somebody will build a tool for HR that will help match employee skills and experience to real company problems, and HR’s role will take on the role of clarifying company problems so that people can solve them.
Businesses will increase hiring of contract workers to avoid paying benefits.
Submitted by Rhonda M. Strong
Submitted by Samuel Ambrose
As email filters get more aggressive and Google makes more and more judgements about what you “should” and “should not” get, the difficulty of reaching people through email will accelerate an amazing technology where you can pick up a device and connect voice-to-voice with another person. Yes, phone calls will be cool again, because they’ll be the only way you can get work done. (Wait–isn’t that happening now?)
Question 2: If you had a magic wand, what’s the one thing you’d personally change in the next decade for yourself or those you love?
I’d remove debt and worry over money. Then I’d challenge clutter and stuff.
The U.S. will join the rest of the developed world and have paid maternity /parental leave. It won’t affect me but who cares? It’s the right thing to do.
Less technology and more human interaction.
The phone will go back to being . . a phone.
Better technology to improve health (or to make good health last longer).
More free time, reduced hours of work.
That there will be a return … a genuine return “to the public good.”
Planet clean-up and bring back extinct animals.
Focus on relationships, pure foods, good health.
I would grant everyone the freedom they need to find a profession that fulfills them. That could be the financial freedom to take a job based not on salary but on true passion. It could be the freedom of time and/or resources to devote themselves to learning a new skill, chasing a new opportunity, or launching a new business. With the amount of time people spend “at work”, my ultimate wish is that everyone had the ability to spend that time doing something that filled their cup rather than draining it.
A kinder, safer world.
True life/work balance, that everyone would experience balance by giving life the appropriate priority level.
See each and every one for their gifts/talents/strength.
(Darcy here: and might I add, superpowers?)
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