How the 2020s will be the Remote Work Decade
The office became a status symbol
It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact moment the transition from white-collar to blue-collar jobs in terms of the respect afforded to workers happened but it did a long time ago.
White-collar jobs are seen as:
- jobs that are to be respected
- a sign that you are doing ok financially
- an indicator of your own personal self-worth
It didn’t matter that there were problems. At the time there were far less than there are now; office workers each had their own private office. Initially, the management of factories. They were seen a role that one should aspire to in order to escape the dangers of the factory floor.
It was the best option. Office workers kept all their fingers, didn’t risk death each time they went to work. The problem was that there were only a few of these roles available and they were reserved for senior people who’d been at the company for a long time and ownership.
The office has become a distraction factory where the instantaneous gratification of synchronous working makes it almost impossible to get any work done.
- The office will be the dominant location of work will end this decade
- A majority of the 255m desk jobs globally done remotely a majority of the time
The reasons for this are obvious: remote work benefits both workers and companies.
Companies benefit through the reduction in real estate costs, the increase in retention and the ability to hire the best person on the planet to do a specific job rather than the best person they can afford within a 30-mile radius of the office.
Workers benefit from the increase of flexibility, to live in lower-cost regions and have a higher quality of life, rebalancing their life-work balance so that they can plan their work around their life rather than the other way round.
For remote work to increase:
- doesn’t have to be a silver bullet
- has to be better than office work
For it to become 10–100X more common than it is today companies going remote has to be 10X easier than it is right now.
With that being said, here are the 24 steps I predict will be needed for remote work to become the dominant location of work:
1. 🌍 The Early Adopters
Evolution will be driven by the most talented people realizing the power and influence they wield over their own fate.
They will use this and demand more remote working opportunities, unshackling them from a fixed location. Other workers will recognize their own opportunity to do similar.
2. ✈️ First-Mover Advantage
Companies that go remote-first fasted will have a massive advantage to retain their best workers and attract their competitors.
Talent acquisition will become a war where remote work is the most effective weapon. Companies who don’t move quickly will lose all their best people to their biggest competitors.
3. 🏢 Large Enterprises React
The world’s biggest companies won’t be the first mover, but they will react quickly.
Remote work may end up being the thing that let’s them avoid disruption from startups best.
The ability to slash Billions of $ of Real estate cost will be a massive incentive.
4. 📍 Decentralization
Where people live is already irrelevant, the office is a death sentence for companies.
Hiring the best talent within a 30-mile radius of an office will prevent you from hiring 99.99% of the world’s talent. Each hire lowering the average ability of office-first companies compared to their remote-first competitors.
5. 🎨 Diversification
Remote companies will emerge to become the most diverse on the planet rapidly.
The benefit in terms of ideas, imagination and delivery — an understanding and appreciation of the world in way office-first companies couldn’t dream will inspire a wave of innovation.
6. 👨🔬 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. This is already happening and will only get worse.
7. ☸️ Productivity Explosion
The biggest driver of the pivot to remote work is that remote employees simply produce better results than their traditional counterparts.
While people argued remote drains workers of their productive spirit, conclusive evidence that remote workers are vastly happier and more productive has emerged.
Office-first companies paralyzed with self-doubt, remote-first companies will replace them.
8. ⚖️ Improved Balance
More balanced workers won’t burn out as frequently. People will transition from organizing their life around work to their work around their life.
This will allow workers to find meaning in life outside of work, a massive societal issue the office work exacerbates due to the cultivation of relationships with no depth or breadth.
9. 🚀 Self Propelling Growth
The more people that go remote, the more productive those companies become, the bigger they grow, the more people they hire.
Remote work is about to experience exponential growth, yet there are so few people who understand it and are able to manage it.
10. ⭐ Specialist Leadership
The remote specialist CEO will be the most sought after commodity ~5 years from now.
Leaders who have led large companies from office-based to being remote-first successfully, understand how to use the available tools to do it will lead a revolution of transformation.
11. 🛠️ Remote Tools
Companies operating remotely now will have created tools every remote team on the planet needs
Several $Billion Startups to emerge this way
12. 🚄 Infrastructure
The future of work is going through its foundational stage. The infrastructure that enables distributed globally remote teams to scale will emerge in the next 18 months.
This will let companies of every size to go remote at the touch of a button. Making it this easy is critical for scale.
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Interested in remote work?
Building any of these predictions? Got any ideas or thoughts on the most important things that will emerge
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