I follow a few people on social media who talk a lot about the possible future of remote working and what developments there are going to be. One of the people I follow is Chris Herd – he is the founder and CEO at Firstbase so has a lot of knowledge on the subject. A recent thread of his was so interesting I thought I would share it on here. So remote working – is this the future?
He is definitely worth a follow and can be found on twitter at @chris_herd.
With the amount of experience he has with setting up his own remote working company called Firstbase along with his extensive network of business people he has spoken to over 1,500 people about remote working over the last six months. In that time he raised over $15M to build his company and came up with some predictions of what is likely to emerge before 2025. I’ll just go through each of them and discuss at the end so here are the points that Chris made in one of his latest posts:
- Rural Living : world-class people will move to smaller cities, have a lower cost of living and a higher quality of life. These regions must innovate quickly to attract their wealth. Better schools, faster internet connections are a must.
- Asynchronous Work : offices are instantaneous gratification distraction factories where synchronous work makes it impossible to get stuff done. Tools that enable asynchronous work are the most important thing globally remote teams need. A lot of startups will try to tackle this.
- Hobby Renaissance: Remote working will lead to a rise in people participating in hobbies and activities which link them to people in their local community. This will lead to deeper, more meaningful relationships which overcome societal issues of loneliness and isolation.
- diversity and Inclusion : The most diverse and inclusive teams in history will emerge rapidly. Companies who embrace it have a first mover advantage to attract great talent globally. Companies who don’t will lose their best people to their biggest competitors.
- Output focus : time will be replaced as the main KPI for judging performance by productivity and output. Great workers will be the ones who deliver what they promise consistently. Advancement decisions will be decided by capability rather than who you drink beer with after work.
- Private equity : the hottest trend of the next decade for private equity will see them purchase companies, make them remote-first. The cost saving in real-estate at scale will be eye-watering. The productivity gains will be the final nail in the coffin for the office.
- Working too much : companies worry that the workers won’t work enough when operating remotely. The opposite will be true and become the big problem. Remote workers burning out because they work too much will have to be addressed.
- Remote retreats : purpose built destinations that allow for entire companies to fly into a campus for a synchronous week. Likely staffed with facilitators and educators who train staff of how to maximise effectiveness.
- Life – work balance : the rise of the remote will lead to people re-prioritising what is important to them. Organising your work around your life will be the first noticeable switch. People realising they are more than their job will lead to deeper purpose in other areas.
- Bullshit tasks : the need to pad out your eight hour day will evaporate, replaced by clear tasks and responsibilities. Workers will do what needs to be done rather than wasting their time trying to look busy with the rest of the office.
- Health and well being : a lack of commute will give workers twenty-five extra days a year to do other things. Workers will exploit the freedom they have to organise things more freely in their day. Afternoon runs, morning meditation – two things a lot of people I know now do.
- Personal RPA : automation will transform work for individuals. No-code tools that enable workers to build bots that automate menial parts of their roles will be huge.
- Death of HQ : the office is dead but offices will persist. They’ll be used less frequently then hardly at all. Co-working, subscription clubs, will emerge that let workers who prefer that mode of work to operate from there.
- Remote Living : work from anywhere RV’s will become huge business. Associated business parks and services will spring up. this will happen even more rapidly as self driving tech emerges. Expect a Tesla product in this space.
- Lifework balance : massive increases in part-time and freelance work. A recognition that we no longer have to sacrifice work for living, we can organise work around our lives.
- Community Led SaaS : as no-code continues to grow, tech is barely a barrier. Communities become the most important thing a company has.
- Remote Visa : small nations coming together in order to attract remote workers at different stages of the year. Huge opportunity to synchronise education to enable families to be more fluid in their locations.
- Meeting death : wasting two hours traveling to a meeting will end. The benefits of in-person are eroded by the benefits you get of not traveling. Conferences and quarterly networking events will become more important for cultivating in-person relationships.
- Personal Choice : the smartest people I know personally are all planning to work remotely this decade. The most exciting companies I know personally all plan to hire remotely this decade. 90% of the work forces we’ve spoken to never want to be in an office again full-time.
- written over spoken : documentation is the unspoken superpower of remote teams. The most successful team members remotely will be great writers. Companies are searching for ways to do this more effectively. Tools that enable others to write better will explode.
Wow – a LOT of things to absorb in what he is saying but the biggest takeaway he is suggesting is that the days of working nine to five, five days a week in the office is a thing of the past, or soon will be.
I think this was something that, as technology developed, was always going to be happening however the pandemic forced people into working from home and as a result, both sides of the workforce (employees and employers) have seen the huge benefits from moving quicker to a remote working set-up. Those companies who insist on returning to their pre-pandemic work practices will quickly see those competitors who adopt a remote working environment flourish. Investors will soon insist on companies adopting the cheaper option to maximise profit margins so one way or another the move to remote working is coming, whether some companies want it or not.
As I’ve said Chris Herd is well worth a follow on Twitter and is always posting great content whether predictions or tips and hints on remote working.
What do you think is going to happen? Do you agree with these points or do you think that too many people want to return to pre-pandemic work practices?
Please let me know what you are thinking in the comments below. This is going to be a hot topic over the next few years I am SURE so let’s get involved in the conversation and let others know your thoughts on the subject. As ever I would love to hear from you.
Until the next article, take care,