The Twelve Days of 'Workforce Futurist' Christmas
#WF38 - Workforce Trends with a Festive 🎅 Twist That You Can Singalong To
Welcome to the special Christmas🎄 Edition of Workforce Futurist!
Some commentary on workforce related trends with some predictions🔮 and top tips🎁.
With this weeks festive addition you can sing along too!
If my tweet gets 50 RTs I will sing 🧑🎤 it too…
Here we go…
🎶 “On the 12th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Twelve Tweeters Tweeting
“Traditionally a rich man seeking more influence, and free advertising, will buy a newspaper.”
In 2022, the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, bought Twitter.
The micro-publishing site gets more eyeballs than the New York Times, The Times of India and the London Times combined.
The acquisition went fairly smoothly for this modern pantomime villain.
Make an offer, slate the company to get the price down, and, sack half the employees by DM.
But the big question is, what happens next for Twitter?
Outlandish Prediction 🔮
Twitter will tap into at least two big trends I write about on Workforce Futurist :– the desire of millions to make a living as creators, and using tokens as incentives.
Verification, paid subscriptions, tokenisation will make the platform better for publishers of all sizes. Less reliance on adverts will help usability too.
If Musk succeeds, Twitter profitability massively increases. He takes his profits and then returns a share of Twitter to its token holders and users. Over time there is a reduced need for corporate advertising, and protocols on free-speech are ironed out.
By making Twitter a user-governed Public Good in the next five years, this contribution to Earth will dwarf his tinny rockets and eCars.
In this scenario Musk moves from pantomime villain to saviour of the world….ho ho ho!
🎶 “On the 11th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Eleven Strikers Striking
When inflation rears it’s ugly head, workers demand higher wages as it gets more expensive to live.
👍 Good news – wages increase of 10%
👎 Bad news – cost of living is 15% so you are 5% worse off than before.
Workers demand higher pay, employers don’t want to pay it.
This story is as old and cyclical as Christmas itself.
In December in the UK, there will be strike action for every day of the advent calendar.
From Coffinmakers in Glasgow to Criminal Barristers in London and Weather Forecasters. As well as Nurses, Train Drivers, Teachers, Call Handlers, Paramedics, and Bus Drivers.
There has been more industrial conflict than at any time over the past five years. The trade unions are earning their subs at the moment for those with jobs. And also finding a role in helping independent workers such as Uber drivers negotiate better terms.
🎶 “On the 10th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Ten Lawyers a Laughing
Looks like Lawyers fees are taking a dip with the rest of the economy.
At Christmas, it’s always good to help the needy.
For the second consecutive quarter, the Law Firm Financial Index (LFFI) returned to the worst score recorded in the Index’s history.
In context, magic-circle fees are down from previous years but still growing at about 5%. Profit per equity partner (PEP) touches £2m/year.
In upturns and downturns, lawyers will do just fine.
Labor & employment and litigation work (see above) will keep them bouyant in 2023.
🎶 “On the 9th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Nine Creators Creating
Creators are busy at this time of year. It is estimated that there are at least 50m creators - people making a living independently directly from their own creative talents. What I have termed broadly as the Decentralised Workforce - content creators, curators, and community builders including social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers. Using platforms such as Etsy, Shopify, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, TikTok, Substack, Patreon.
As industries hollow out, more people will leave large employers and try and develop income as creators.
🎶 “On the 8th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Eight Scribes a Scribbling
So where do you get good quality content these days?
Twitter is quiet recently as people wait for Musk Mayhem or Mastodon Magic.
LinkedIn is much sanctimonious corporate back-slapping.
TikTok has its moments of humourous virality.
Some of the best content come from Newsletters.
🎁 Top Tip #1 – Create a new email account just for newsletter subscriptions direct to your inbox. Keeps your main email free of clutter, and choose when you read.
🎁 Top Tip #2 - Curate your own Twitter lists. Here’s my Futurology Workers Twitter List you can follow.
🎁 Top Tip #3 – Now I really feel like Santa 🎅🏽 – Here’s a list of Recommended Future of Work writers on Substack – subscribe and give them a festive smile.
🎶 “On the 7th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to Workforce Futurist to receive updates to your inbox 🙏
Seven Mouldy Metaverses
Facebook has made most of its money from selling adverts in the US.
It sits uncomfortably in the middle of weird culture wars and geo-politic mischief.
It’s rebrand to Meta is a big bet on the success of the so-called Metaverse or virtual economy.
The metaverse isn’t a single entity - over time we will see thousands of virtual platforms.
As Tom Ffiske writes, there are small, private worlds where players can socialise, create, and sell their services, and, larger public metaverses encompassing the future of the internet.
The next generation of the internet will allow tokenization incentives, and allow people to make a living without leaving their bedrooms. The adoption is hard to predict and will have lots of fallout.
More metaverse reading with a glass of mulled wine :-
🎶 “On the 6th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Six Great Resignations
The Great Resignation was a neat term for Forbes and NYT headlines, but scratch the surface and at best this was a US temporary phenomena. With inflation and corporate lay-offs, the great resignation will be long forgotten in 2023.
In 2022 the UK ruling party provided some Great Resignation entertainment to a global audience this year.
In July, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) quits the Cabinet, stabbing his boss, Boris Johnson, and precipitating a Tory Leadership election that he then loses to Liz Truss, who resigns after 6 weeks, and the bold Sunak wins the poisoned-chalice of Prime Minister - thus winning the award for The Great Resignation. Something like that…
🎶 “On the 5th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Five Golden Nomads
With more workers able to work anywhere, many have headed south for the winter. Some have been kicked out of their offices due to heating costs, others want to avoid heating costs in northern Europe and to eat lunch alfresco.
Regions are competing to attract Golden Nomads spending on surfing schools, cocktails, and brunch. Examples include Miami, Madeira and Mauritius.
There are 51 countries offering Digital Nomad Visas, with attractive tax benefits.
Watch Out For 🔮 – More cities laying out the red carpet for mobile workers, more locals getting pissed off as rents rise and they have to move to the outer suburbs.
Further Reading → Anywheres vs Somewheres and The New Geography of Work
🎶 “On the 4th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Four Day Week A Working
Four days grafting for the same wages as five? Most would vote for this.
Even some bosses and elected leaders think it’s a good idea.
The most popular Workforce Futurist article this year was :-
I hate to spoil the party, but blanket solutions like the 4DW will not work for all.
The four-day week comes form the same industrialised thinking as the five-day week.
In the Digital Age, we need to design work from first principles, taking into account capabilities, workers and customer needs, supply and demand etc.
The four day week will work for many but don’t try and force-fit it.
Instead give people more opportunities for flexibility, autonomy and equity.
🎶 “On the 3th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Three Hybrid Workers
If there are three hybrid workers then the chances are that one of them will not be sending Christmas Cards to the others by next Christmas.
Emerging research shows that Remote Workers lose 25 - 30% of their informal connections compared to employees predominately in the office.
When it comes to networks, intentionality trumps proximity.
New practices are needed for 2023.
Read more from Michael Arena’s research here →
🎶 “On the 2th Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
Two Quiet Quitters
Quiet Quitting - they might not like their job but they continue to do it, albeit grudgingly.
This attitude to work will be familiar to most people who have ever had a J.O.B.
‘Work to rule’ is as old as Father Christmas.
It’s all rather quaint. However,
Watch out for 🔮 - A new TikTok workforce phenomena going mainstream in 2023.
🎶 “On the 1st Day of Christmas 🎄 my true love sent to me…”🎶
An NFT in a Web3 CV
The first reported use of the CV or resume, as a personal marketing document was by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1482. As a 30-year-old, young Leo applied for a job with the Duke of Milan as a military engineer.
We are gradually moving to a world of verified digital credentials and user-owned work-matching and teaming platforms. This will build more trust in work, and enable more independent teams to form to solve problems and build products and services.
I have a feeling 2023 will be a big year for the new infrastructure of work.
Finally, the best* Workforce Futurist longer essays this year :-
The Golden Age of Digital Technology – what can the last 250 years tell us about the future and where does Web3 fit in? A mental grapple with the impressive work of Professor Carlota Perez.
Building A Better World Without Jobs – the formal job has brought society many benefits but might be losing its power. In most economic scenarios there is still plenty of work to do but we will need to organise it differently. How might society respond to this?
Don't Be Just Another Person with Data – data everywhere on our phones, dashboards, but how do we use it to make better decisions?
* in my view, not necessarily the most views…
From Musk to the Mona Lisa via Strikers, Elves and Prime Ministers.
That’s all folks from your independent and festive🎄Workforce Futurist🎄.
Have a great festive break and keep in touch!
Thanks to all readers, especially subscribers, and sponsors, who enable me to publish Workforce Futurist for free.
Still looking for that Christmas gift 🎁 for the awkward work futurist in your network? Look no further - give them a free subscription to Workforce Futurist!