The Future of Work, Can You Envision What It Looks Like?

The Future of Work, Can You Envision What It Looks Like?

Man Using Virtual Reality Headset

Now is the time to dream about what work may be for you now and in the future.  Now might be the time to dream big and imagine how you might want work to play a role in your life.  This may include jobs that are not yet invented, and you may have to use your innovative skills to create the work you desire.  One size will not fit all, and we may have to discover what works for us.

A hypothesis by the top research organizations like McKinsey, Harvard Business Review, and  MIT Sloan indicated the future of work would be different due to technological advancement.

The fourth Industrial Revolution was one of the first conversations that demonstrated the historical trends of how technology shifted the way we work.   Recently, McKinsey predicted that the pandemic might cause 25% of the labor force to switch occupations because of ecommerce, remote work, and automation.

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly changed how work is done, and knowledgeable workers were thrown into remote work.  The unintended consequences of the new remote work style are unknown.  We have many things to consider for the future of work.

The Future of Work for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) knowledge and non-knowledge workers will continue to lag. The BIPOC community must be intentional in the quest to play a role in the future of work, both individually and collectively.

The BIPOC community needs to be especially diligent in defining their future, so past events do not limit us.  This conversation is an important one for this moment is one that we must engage and bring everyone along on the journey.

I say don't take this lightly! Dream big and swing for the fences.  Create a vision and inspect and adapt your way into your ideal future work. Don't leave your future up to someone else to decide for you.

I recently participated as a facilitator for the Future of Work 24-hour Open Space Technology event. Over 500 people globally attended to share their perspectives on what they want work to be.

We can manifest our dreams for the future of work through conversations guided by the Open Space five (5) principles, one (1) law, and three personas/actors.

Five principles:

  1. Whoever comes are the right people.
  2. Whatever happens, is the only thing that could have happened.
  3. When it starts is the right time.
  4. Wherever it is, it's the only place that it could be.
  5. When it's over, it's over.

One Law:  The law of mobility

  • If you find yourself in a situation where you are not contributing or learning, move somewhere where you can."

Three Personas/Actors: Bumblebee, Butterfly, and Groundhog

  • Bumblebeesfly from group to group cross-pollinating the discussions
  • Butterfliessit around looking relaxed--interesting discussions emerge around them as people find them and pause to chat.
  • Groundhogs retreat to a space where they are comfortable and find refuge for a moment in time.

Even though the pandemic has changed how work looks, the principles from the Future of Work 24-hour Open Space Technology event are something to consider. From the five (5) principles, one (1) law, and three (3) personas/actors, it is possible to see a new light at the end of the tunnel.