The increasing feasibility and popularity of remote work was one of the defining features of the 2010's, and so it makes sense, here at the beginning of a fresh decade, to consider what might be in store for us in the next ten years. How will remote work evolve? What might it look like? Feel like? Here are a few roads we are likely to travel down on our way to 2030.
65 million members of Generation Z (people born in the early 2000s) will enter the workforce this decade. This is a generation weaned on the internet. A generation born into a world of mobile devices and mediated connections. Technology is braided into every aspect of their lives, and to attract and retain these new employees, companies will have to keep up with their expectations around technology. One of those expectations: employment with a company that offers flexible work schedules and remote work opportunities. For Generation Z, work isn’t defined by an office space. Work, like every other aspect of life, is something that happens on a screen. And those screens can go anywhere.
Changing Office Spaces
As more of the work force opts for flexible, remote working arrangements, office spaces will undergo various transformations. With fewer on-site employees, real estate footprints will shrink, and companies will opt for smaller spaces that can accommodate occasional in-person conferences and team meetings. The huddle room trend will continue, while co-working spaces will likely gain in popularity. Offices will no longer be homes away from home, but multi-use spaces that can adapt to the wants and needs of employees on the move.
VR technology is still pretty much synonymous with gaming culture, but in time, affordable VR headsets and applications will find their way into the everyday working world. It might be a while before it happens, but it’s not unreasonable to think that video conferences will become virtual reality conferences that bring people together in a virtual room that allows for immersive interactions that simulate in-person meetings.
Refinement, Not Disruption
The virtual revolution notwithstanding, we are likely heading into a near future of refinement, as opposed to disruption. By refinement, we mean streamlining and improving solutions that many companies have already adopted. Cloud conferencing, for instance, has become the default setting for many organizations, and we expect this trend to continue, as companies collect data on tech usage and figure out how to more efficiently deploy the solutions they already have.
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