Future Of Work Predictions – 5 Trends You Should Know

woman using vr goggles outdoors
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Adverse events and calamities leave their impact and footprints long after they are done with. The Covid-19 is one such global calamity. The pandemic has permanently altered the ways we live and work. Post pandemic normal seems like a distant relative of what we know as the pre pandemic normal. This is a good time to talk about the future of work. Here are five future of work predictions that you should watch out for.

5 Future of work predictions

  1. More and more companies will allow hybrid and remote working
  2. Increase in gig economy and workforce. More power to freelancers
  3. Online virtual workplaces will gamify collaboration for remote teams
  4. Employers will test 100% outcome based pay and benefits for workers
  5. There will be a need for global employment regulations to protect interests of the remote workforce

This is not a very distant future. Most of these have already become quite a norm. It’s just a matter of time that these trends find a wider adoption globally.

1. More companies globally will allow hybrid and remote working

man holding mug in front of laptop. Wider adoption of remote working is one the key future of work predictions
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, companies have been quick to transition to remote working. This certainly was a forced transition. But, more than year or two of remote work has set a few records straight for everyone.

First, you could get the same quality and quantity of work. And second, this seems to be the best remedy to restore a healthy work life balance.

Employers have come to realize that this ain’t temporary solution. Remote work is here to stay and stay for good. A survey by IBM Institute for Business Value reported that “61% of CEOs believe that empowering remote workforce is an important part of their organization’s strategy.”

That’s forward thinking by the top employers and validates one of the 5 future of work predictions.

Remote Working Statistics

More than half of the global companies (56%) offer remote work perks to their staff. 16% companies are now fully remote while others have a hybrid work culture. A mix of office going employees and remote workers.

According to FlexJob’s 10th Annual Survey, 58% respondents wanted to be full-time remote employees post pandemic. Another 39% wanted a hybrid work environment. That’s 97% respondents demanding some form of remote work.

Video – 3 Steps to manage remote work expectations

How can small businesses manage remote work expectations?

2. Increase in Gig Economy

First, what is gig economy? Quoting from Oxford Dictionary – “gig economy is a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs”.

Gig workers are freelancers, independent contractors, contract firm workers or temporary workers. Popularity of websites such as Upwork and Fiverr is a growing testimony to the increasing demand and availability of gig workers.

So your Uber driver and the freelance graphic designer you hired for your website are both an integral part of the gig economy and workforce.

woman in black shirt sitting on car seat is a part of the growing gig workforce
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com
The shift to remote work has given impetus to gig work.

56% of gig workers say they take gig jobs to earn money on top of their main source of income (Source: Pew Research Center). That is extra income or a second source of income. Some may call it a side hustle.

This however is an increasing trend. More and more people want to insure their careers and add secondary sources of income. A key lesson from job losses during the pandemic.

Did you know that 59 million Americans freelance? That is 36% of the total American workforce. (Source: Upwork)

What’s interesting is that more than two-thirds of independent contractors said they are working as contractors by choice.

So, this certainly finds a spot on our top future of work predictions. As per a Mastercard report, the global gig-economy is expected to surpass $300 Billion in market size by 2023.


3. Online Virtual Workplaces

As Covid-19 disrupted ways we live and work, it has permanently altered reality and expectations. Most of us do not want to go back to the pre-pandemic normal.

In a study by Owl Labs, 74% of workers say that having a remote work opportunity would make them less likely to leave a company. 69% of millennials would give up on certain work benefits for a more flexible working space.

The growing affinity for remote work has made borders and distances non-existent. You could share your screen, voice and video with a co-worker working from her home in the next lane or next continent.

Enter online virtual workplaces, third in our list of 5 future of work predictions.

These virtual workplaces are where your virtual avatar mimics your actions in a virtual office. As you sip coffee working from your living room or a beach, it’s the virtual you in the metaverse that mirrors what you would have done in a real office.

Its work gamified. While some may question the need and even mock, this indeed is an interesting twist and start to the future of work.

Video – The Multiverse For Work

Future of Work Predictions – Multiverse for Work

4. Outcome based pay

This trend from our future of work predictions list can be linked to the rise of gig economy and workforce.

More and more companies are now open to hiring freelancers and short term employees for certain job roles. I have personally helped many of my clients hire freelancers for recruitment, content writing, data visualization and other job roles.

These contracts are based on outcome based pay. Employers pay on results and output.

  • The recruiter gets paid for each candidate that joins the company
  • Content writer is paid for each piece of content
  • The data analyst is paid for the number of reports and presentations

The employer is happy to get the job done – as per agreed timelines and quality. The employee is happy to get paid for the work while he or she can work on simultaneous projects with more than one client.

It is a win-win arrangement for both. As tracking and monitoring of work hours of remote employees get tricky for smaller businesses, they will be more than willing to offer a compensation based pay structure.

Talented employees too won’t hesitate as this gives them the freedom to work as per their own schedule. Additionally, they can work for more than one client and earn more.


5. Global Employment Regulations

Remote work has eliminated boundaries. Companies have employees working from several countries and even continents.

Companies that hire employees from across the world need to work across jurisdictions and juggle different regulatory requirements.

Consider this for an example. As per employment regulations in Belgium, the notice period for employees, which applies to blue and white collar workers, is based solely on length of service. Example – employees with 8 years of service are entitles to 27 weeks’ notice while those with 17 years’ service are entitle to 54 weeks’ notice.

This is not the case in other countries who have different regulations for notice period.

Another example is termination of employees in Italy. Poor performance is not a statutory reason for dismissal as per Italian laws.

These differences now present special challenges for employers with the growing number of remote workers across the globe. Cross border remote working can trigger compliance issues. The worst is that a lot of hiring manages and companies may be in the dark and may be caught unaware.

Refer to this article from Nicolien Borggreve – Remote work for the cross-border workforce. Ten key to success.

However I believe we need a more transparent employment guideline that will serve the interests of both the employers and the employees. International Labor Organization (ILO) would need to take the initiative and set global regulations for employing remote workers. Like all other international laws and treaties, countries need to be signatories to this global remote work treaty.

Watch out for the twists and trends

The last few months have been a gradual transition to the new normal. In many ways, this is now a new world we live in and work in.

As most studies and surveys reveal, people worldwide are exploring a more balanced life instead of chasing only work related goals and financial benefits.

Family, self and balance are back on top of the priority list. The business and tech world has pitched in with innovations and solutions.

I do believe we are walking into a much better future of work, future of life and future of the entire human race. As preferences, aspirations and goals change, so will the ways we work. Let’s watch out how these 5 future of work predictions shape up in a year or two.

Thank you for joining me on this exploration of the future. It will be interesting to read your views. Do share them in the comments or join me for a conversation on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Signing off now. Thank you 🙂

By Nitesh Verma

Founder - Business Management Blog. I am an independent business strategy consultant, helping companies take data driven business decisions. My mission is to find and implement simple solutions for complex business problems.


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