In the next few Future Fridays, I wanted to explore the future of work. We’re just at the beginning of understanding how the internet will change the nature of labor and work itself. This will be an exploration of some larger trends and themes (some of which are overlapping)
These trends will have varying impacts in different organizations - I see them as new tools in the toolbox of company building. Some can and will be disruptive to the nature of work itself, and some will simply be new capabilities.
Some of the topics I will be exploring further:
- Connecting the right task to the right person (who does the work) - This is an exploration of the spectrum of outsourcing and freelance work. The internet is making it possible to give businesses incredible leverage through borrowing other people’s time and resources. What will happen when this is extended to it’s fullest potential? Will one person eventually be able to run an enterprise-sized operation?
- The removal of physical boundaries (where the work happens) - While many workplaces still require physical colocation, many companies are at the forefront of removing that restriction. Physical space is scarce and knowledge work can happen anywhere. There are already companies that are 100% remote - can this be extrapolated further to companies of all sizes, and what does that look like?
- Increasing task level efficiency (how the work happens) - This is an exploration of how the cadence of companies is increasing, as is the speed of decision and execution. This includes the rise of automation (through robotics and artificial intelligence) all the way to conversational workflows, and how they are playing a role across company operations. What happens as decision and execution times drive to zero?
- A higher order focus (why people work) - This is an exploration of the changing nature of how people make choices in what to work on. This includes the exploration of a “post capital” world. This also includes the things companies are doing to increase the cognitive capability and output of its people - from mental health and wellness to fostering better working relationships.
- Decentralized governance models - I’ve explored this through my posts on Crypto and Web 3, but will look at how decentralization and a market-based governance model is affecting the structure and makeup of internet companies (it affects everything from decision making to equity structures).