• Julia Reis

Workplaces in 2040

Have you started wondering what workplaces will look like 20 years from now?

Some trends that are already taking shape will most likely be in full force by 2040.

Some of the trends that are already taking shape in 2020 include:

1. Remote work

2. Virtual assistants

3. Increased corporate surveillance

Remote Work

Having the ability to work from outside of a corporate office has been feasible for a few decades. For example, video calling can take the place of in-person meetings, interviews, and client appointments. Some testify that the future of all business meetings is video, and that real work happens online. Workplaces are also using task manages like Trello and Asana. Conversations are taking place in Slack and Microsoft Teams. Documents are shared with Box and Dropbox. Slide decks are created on Google Slides or Keynote. The benefit of these programs is that they allow for collaboration; where anyone with access can track a project's progress, contribute to the discussion, or leave some feedback. Remote work is becoming the new norm, and some suggest it can be more productive than corporate office workplaces.

Virtual Assistants

Using an assistant can save hours from your workweek. Most virtual assistants do their jobs from home, and are contract or freelance workers. This also takes the form of coworking spaces or virtual offices. Some tasks that are commonly outsourced to virtual assistants include bookkeeping, online research, database entries, data presentation, email management, social tasks, travel research, scheduling, chasing business, industry knowledge prep and more.

Knowing which tasks to delegate can be tricky, whether you're starting or growing a business.

Increased Corporate Surveillance

Tracking of workers often equates to the amount and quality of work itself. New technologies can augment an existing culture of nosiness or micromanaging, and enables companies to develop algorithms that could someday replace them. The original purpose of corporate surveillance was to keep tabs on remote workers. These tools monitor keyboard activity, application usage, and takes screenshots and webcam photos of workers. It's intended to ensure that people are getting paid for productive time, and not getting paid for nonproductive time. This ultimately changes how workers relate to their jobs, and means workers may have to get used to being evaluated not just for the work they do but for the way they accomplish it.

Twenty years from now, Gen Z and millennials will be fully incorporated into the workplace, while Gen X will be stepping back. Predicted workplace norms of 2040 are already underway in 2020.

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