Bold Predictions About What WFH Will Beget

FirstBase is a startup company that was founded in 2018 with the mission to help global companies establish a U.S. presence. In the process of creating a completely remote work force, the FirstBase founders realized there is also a business in helping other businesses transition to remote work forces. FirstBase CEO Chris Herd told The Wall Street Journal that its waitlist of companies wanting the remote setup assistance ballooned from 600 in early March to more than 4,000 in July.

“Remote work is the biggest workplace revolution in history and nothing will deliver a higher quality of life increase in the next decade than this,” the company’s website states. Clearly, more people will be working from home, at least part time, post-COVID than before the pandemic hit. A FirstBase blog post entitled “65 Predictions About the Future of Life and Work” offers some bolder predictions about how the WFH shift will permanently impact work life. These include:

Presence – Tools that provide an estimate of when you should expect a response will become big. These will measure the tasks your team are doing and use this to set expectations, allowing teams to escalate more easily when necessary.

Hobby Renaissance – Commuting and city living leave no freedom to do the things we are most passionate about. Working remotely allows us to surf or ski before work, travel more frequently and develop new passions. (Editor’s note: This creates an opportunity for employers to be more creative with non-cash incentives and rewards tailored to each employee’s interests.)

Remote Visas – Small nations will come together to attract remote workers at different stages of the year, [providing a] huge opportunity to synchronize education to enable families to be more fluid in their locations.

Remote Retreats – Purpose-built destinations that allow for entire companies to fly into a campus for a synchronous week. Likely staffed with facilitators and educators who train staff to maximize effectiveness.

Hyper-Turnover – We are about to live through the highest period of turnover between companies in history. Workers will reorganize rapidly, choosing the workplace that suits their working style best.

Meeting Death – Wasting two hours travelling to a meeting will end. The benefits of in-person are eroded by the benefits of not travelling. Conferences and quarterly networking events will become more important for cultivating in-person relationships.

Output Focus – Time will be replaced as the main means of judging performance by productivity and output. Great workers will be the ones who deliver what they promise consistently. Advancement decisions will be decided by capability rather than who you drink beer with after work.

Job Title Death – What your job title is will become more irrelevant as remote work becomes more prominent. What you do, what you’re capable of, the tools you can wield will enable you to do jobs that break you free from the shackles of a title.  

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