2020 has been a hellish year for just about everyone on the planet. Let’s just put that out there.
But hear me out for one moment because I have a different–and more positive–perspective on 2020. In fact, I’m already seeing the phoenix rising out of the 2020 ashes. Here’s why:
2020 Lovefest #1
The Future of Work Has Been Changed, Forever.
For more than three years I’ve been fighting the good fight for The Future of Work: for more remote work; for more flexibility; for more autonomy; for redefining the 9-5; for better work/life balance; and for closing the gender pay gap.
COVID took this movement from bicycle pace to rocketship speed.
Back in April, just about every office worker across the country was working remotely from home. In The Upside, we debated whether or not this would create permanent change or if work culture would go back to normal as soon as COVID restrictions were over.
And I think we can all agree that it’s certainly the former.
As a workforce, our culture has permanently shifted towards a more open, fluid, flexible environment. And that’s an outcome that’s going to help so many people stay in the workforce and thrive in their careers for the long-term.
2020 Lovefest #2: The Lives of Working Parents Are Improving.
Many experts say that working parents have been hit the hardest by COVID. Parents have been expected to homeschool their children during the day while still showing up to office Zoom meetings and delivering projects on-time. This has felt downright impossible for most people.
However, because the norms of flexible and remote work have been accelerated at lightning speed, working parents are going to be better off in the long run.
No longer will parents get a nervous pit in their stomach when asking their boss to work 1 – 2 days remotely. And no longer will companies penalize working parents for requesting flexibility.
In addition, consultants and freelancers are going to receive much less pushback from prospective clients when they aren’t located in the same city.
We’ve seen that working remotely does work. Maybe not for all. But for many.
And the technology to support this shift is about to explode. Which brings me to…
2020 Lovefest #3: We’re About to See an Explosion of Creative Entrepreneurship and New Jobs.
It’s been proven time and time again that economic uncertainty (remember 2008?) breeds creative disruptors. In fact, Whatsapp, Venmo, Uber, Groupon, Slack and Square all emerged either during or right after the 2008 recession.
2020 is no different, especially as it pertains to huge shifts in how we work. In the next 3 – 5 years, we are going to see hundreds of new companies emerging to satisfy the need for freelancers, consultants and teams to work cohesively and efficiently under one digital roof.
We already have Slack, Asana, Trello, Zoom, G-Suite and many, many more. But these tools were designed for our old, established work culture, not this new remote, flexible one we have today.
Can you imagine the possibilities?
We are already seeing new wellness-related companies, home office products, online learning technologies and digital community platforms crop up out of the 2020 dirt. And we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible.
Get ready for totally new industries, new products and new jobs created out of this huge shift in the way work. And that, my friends, is not such a terrible thing.
2021 and Beyond
We’re almost at the end of the “year from hell.” I don’t know about you, but I’m paying attention to the long-term wins that are coming from this experience and doubling down on the Future of Work. Who’s with me?