How Will School and Work Look Like 2020 and Beyond

It is no doubt that how office work looks like has been changing rapidly in the recent past. Every aspect surrounding office work is evolving, starting from how talents are hired, skills needed to get the job done, and how work is actually executed. How people view office work has also significantly changed. With the rise in technology, the emerging of generation Z, and the need for employees to find job satisfaction, continuous change in office work is bound to be experienced 2020 and beyond. In a glimpse, this is how office work will look like 2020 and beyond.

It will be more like peers working to accomplish a common goal

Though millennial and Gen Z have some differences, both generations have a lot in common. Both generations grew up in times when technology has made a connection between people possible, there is more collaboration, and responses are prompt. To them, the world feels flat with no hierarchy or obstacle to access anyone. With this kind of wiring, they expect to work in places where everyone is relatable and accessible.

They need regular feedback and interactions in the workplace with everyone giving input into projects. With this in mind, office work is likely to be driven by leadership through influence, rather than leadership through command and control. Hierarchies will be demolished and will be placed by authentic leaders who will be willing to get in the dirt and get the work done.

2 students working on laptop

It will be flexible and remote

The modern generation believes that you work to live and not live to work. This means that they are not willing to forgo their lives and commit to working full time, but they are willing to work as long as their lives are not interrupted by work. It is more of a work fitting in their schedule rather than adjusting their schedules for work. In this regard, the workplaces that appeal to them are the ones that embrace this ideology. They want to work remotely or have flexible hours outside the 9 to 5 working hours. For instance, a millennial who loves traveling will not forgo his trip to Los Angeles because of work. He will take his trip and take advantage of the many and reliable coworking space in Los Angeles to finish on a project.

Having this in mind, office work is already changing in this direction and will continue to do so in the coming years. Already, office work is being done from anywhere in the world and at flexible hours. The traditional office will most likely meet its demise in the near future. With office work conducted from remote locations and coworking spaces, team collaboration is taking a new lead.  Telecommuting is rapidly becoming the norm with collaboration tools such as video conferencing and messaging playing an important role in team collaboration. To accommodate the need of modern workers to have a more improved work-life balance, office work will also be enhanced with other amenities such as childcare and allowing pets to work among others.

Woman walking on forest trails in Finland

Office work will allow healthy lifestyles

In today’s lifestyle, wellness has taken the center stage. More and more people are more concerned about their physical and mental health. When choosing ideal employers, they are more aligned with those that allow for a healthy lifestyle. This includes having a gym at work, luxury spaces, outdoor areas, ergonomically fit furniture, standing desks that allow a break from sitting, quiet rooms for introverts, meditation rooms, and social areas for extroverts. Office work 2020 and beyond will incorporate these amenities to ensure employees enjoy their healthy lifestyles at work.

There will be a need for unique human skills

With the rise in technology, AI and machine learning have replaced most office work. From now and beyond, people will need to have unique human skills and hone these skills to stay relevant. Such skills include empathy, intellectual curiosity, emotional intelligence, ability to adapt, and creative problem-solving skills.  While technology may bring unprecedented change to office work, these skills will still suffice in the years to come.

White robot looking at screen


Office work is shaping up to meet the demands of the people involved. It is good to note that employees drive productivity and when they are satisfied, their morale to give their best is boosted. In this regard, workplaces should embrace the changes in office work and put efforts to adapt to these changes. Being intentional in changing towards the direction that office work is taking will be instrumental in attracting the right people to any business.

Written by Lisa Mottins, University of Florida– Psychologist, Cyclist and Writer

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