Rat Race 2020: “Let’s start with the assumption that people are amazing.”

We’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. Maybe because it’s a new decade. Maybe because we’re getting married.  Maybe because we’re just the kind of people that think about that kind of stuff. Probably all of those things, combined with wedding-planning-brain-overload delirium and a decent buzz.

So what will work be like in 2020?

1. Harder

This brat is buying your company. Bet you wish you'd gotten him those autism-inducing swine flu shots now, don't you?

Guess who’ll be entering the workforce between now and then? They’re younger, smarter, faster, and cuter than you, and they don’t remember before the Internet. I like to call them Generation Omega. (Because it sounds more dramatic than Generation Z.) I’ve met some of these kids, and they’ve completely shamed me in both Wii Tennis and coloring. You know what I was doing wen I was that age? Playing with sticks. In the woods. Yeah. If your job isn’t obsolete in 2020, your inferior synapses will be.

2. Faster

In 2000, people still sent letters and made phone calls. Ten years from now, the term “email” will be akin to “horseless carriage”.

3. Shorter

"To book a United Airlines flight, press one. For utter, soul-destroying incompetence, press two."

The four-day work week is a total win and everyone knows it. Only suckers and outsourced customer service bots will still be at the office on Fridays by 2020. (The other three days might be spent playing Farmville.)

4. More fun

Programs like Ribbon Hero are taking game design to surprisingly practical heights, and UX is working its way onto the wrinkly crevices of even the most reluctant creative directors, as it slowly dawns on them that traditional media is, in fact, maybe starting to feel slightly under the weather. The line between useful apps and games is getting blurry fast.

People are realizing that fun gets it done. The most successful companies, (unless something really drastic happens,) will be the ones that employees actually like coming to. A lot.

Just one question: If the line between games and work blurs, what will we be taking a break from, and what will we use to procrastinate? (Actually, nevermind. There’ll still be plenty of porn in the future.)

Special thanks to Lost Garden for inspiration, and my favorite quote of the month: “Let’s start with the assumption that people are amazing.”

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