Silicon Valley venture capitalists once dismissed project management software as "just apps" and not real businesses.
That's quickly changing.
Furthermore, remote work has seen a huge boom and doesn't show signs of slowing anytime soon.
Cultural Changes and Goals
Millennial workers value more of a life balance and freedom than their parents. The boomer generation valued a steady, long career, a comfortable retirement plan, a house in the suburbs, and annual vacations.
Millennials have turned that on its head, accepting the risk of remote work and entrepreneurship to have the potential for world travel and flexible living.
According to Inc:
Many of today's young people are spending their 20s and 30s traveling the world, going to happy hours, and posting on Instagram. They're getting married and starting families later (if at all). They want freedom, in the workplace and in their lives.
Instagram definitely has an influence on the "travel-blogger mystique" lifestyle that many aspire to. This is a cultural shift that businesses need to be aware of - keep these in mind when motivating your employees, as 17 million aspire to this identity.
The Future of Remote Work Collaboration
The improvement of remote collaboration software tools to help mitigate the distance have been a huge boon for this growing class of remote workers. Remote employees can now have HD video conferencing with Zoom, manage projects cleanly in Asana and JIRA, and be in constant water cooler conversations with Slack.
Furthermore, allowing better remote communication instead of demanding in-person travel can have very solid health benefits. This is well-need, as studies show that 86% of business travelers cite travel as the source of family and relationship stress.
Employees and employers do need to be aware that it takes more effort and communication to make up for the lack of a physical presence, which some companies still struggle with.
The Future of Open Offices
We predict that open offices will see a significant shift in the next few years. The experiment of open offices, spearheaded by Facebook and every other scrappy startup, has led to good cost savings for the companies, but at a significant detriment to employees.
Companies are getting more creative and finding ways to balance out open offices with privacy like this example shows:
Continued Security Challenges
With more work going online, cybersecurity challenges will continue to mount. Companies spent $3.86 million a year on data breaches globally, with web attacks increasing over 50% YoY.
Furthermore, there's been "a 350% increase in ransomware attacks, a 250% increase in spoofing or business email compromise (BEC) attacks and a 70% increase in spear-phishing attacks in companies overall," according to IndustryWeek.
What this means is that as more information migrates online, businesses will have to invest more in cyber-defense to keep up with global hacking groups. The cost of doing business now includes hiring security professionals on retainer.
The Future is Now
Everything described is not some far-off futuristic vision, it's the reality of how more and more businesses are operating - either in open office, remotely, or a mix of both.
The world of business and digital commerce is changing and becoming more complex. With creative approaches, companies like yours can keep up.