There are many more opportunities for somebody to work from home today than there were just 10 years ago. But what might working from home look like 10 years from today?
Well, there’ll probably be even more opportunities for remote workers, but the nature of the work will change as technology improves. So what can you expect to find in the future of at-home work? Here are a few things we’re happy to predict, even without access to a crystal ball…
Internet connection speeds are set to go up, but connectivity isn’t just limited to connection speed — it’s about the world becoming smaller too. It will be increasingly possible to run teams, projects, and whole businesses from your laptop.
As technological friction is reduced, people will be able to focus on sharing knowledge, and easy communication will allow for more diverse, geographically independent teams.
Virtual teams will become the norm, and the whole concept of the virtual/offline barrier will begin to blur thanks to IM and laser sharp video conferencing. Part-time executive and advisory roles will increase as people seek out experts, regardless of location or time zone.
More autonomy, creativity & culture
Working from home more means higher levels of autonomy, which will lead to higher levels of innovation, as well as less stress and team friction. Instead of employees being watched and monitored, a greater emphasis will be placed on trust and team culture — with staff self-selecting themselves into suitable positions.
With more creative freedom, the average worker is likely to feel much happier and contented in their job — and working from home will allow people to care for their families, homes, and communities. The blurring between work and home space will lead to more innovative and inspiring living solutions, and allow people to feel fully present both at work and at home.
At the same time, society will need to work hard to break down dangerous assumptions about working from home, and instill a sense of balance so that people aren’t plugged in 24/7.
Flexible employers will become the norm
Working from home will change the ways that companies approach work. At the moment, you’re lucky if you can find yourself an employer who will happily let you work from home. Most people who do so are freelancers. However, the future looks set to see this become a lot more common. Here are a few kinds of flexible workplaces you can expect to find in the future:
- You’ll be given your work computer and phone and be allowed to work wherever you please – whether in the office or out
- Office spaces will be designed to reflect this use of remote workers. They’ll be more flexible, allowing for employees to come and go as they please
- The structure of the working week will be redesigned to accommodate the fact that not everyone will be present in the office at any given time
Rise of the efficient side hustler
Working from home is the start of a more financially independent lifestyle for many people. Whether it’s running you own microbusiness, ecommerce store, blog, or YouTube channel — flexible ways of earning money on the side are on the rise.
Ecommerce is a firm side hustle favorite. It’s allowing more and more people to transact their business 100% online, and traditional logistical arrangements (warehouses, distribution networks etc.) are becoming less common. In fact, dropshipping is a great way to earn at home for people who have brilliant ideas and superb writing skills, but no space or budget. Dropship entrepreneurs are part of a growing trend of digital entrepreneurs who are disrupting industries through the power of content and storytelling.
In the future, commercial results will be driven by brands who dare to innovate and who are ready to cut out inefficiencies. If one person working from home with a laptop and an array of digital tools can do the job of 20, why hire 20?
Whether you want to do blogging, ecommerce, marketing, customer support or anything else, there are now plenty of opportunities to do home-based work in a large number of industries. What do you think the future holds for people who work from home?