We’re Entering The Era Of Decentralized Workplaces

The way we work is changing and you won’t want to be left behind. 

In the past, if you wanted a decent-paying job with a high level of autonomy, you’d be expected to work your butt off for a four-year degree or land a sweet office job. Either way, it meant sitting at a desk, dealing with the commute, and somehow avoiding the office drama. 

Today, more people are working remotely than ever before while computers are taking over menial tasks. Creators are able to make a six-figure income from the comfort of their homes and one-person digital businesses are booming. Remote teams with workers living in different parts of the world are able to connect and create meaningful professional relationships. 

Furthermore, with technology advancing so rapidly, the world is starting to become divided between people who know and use new technologies, and those who don’t. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can now write, create art, code and more.  Will most jobs become automated? Which new positions will be created?

While there's no evidence to suggest AI will replace human labor, the rise of automation does present the opportunity for humans to evolve the way we work. What will we do with our extra brain capacity if mundane tasks can be offloaded to a computer? This reality will require a shift in thinking. Becoming a student again could be the key to overcoming the digital divide and staying relevant (not to mention, happy) in the job market.

Jobs of the future

According to the Global Trends Report, we will see major shifts in which countries are economic leaders and how jobs will become automated over the next 20 years. Some developed and emerging economies, including Europe and East Asia, are expected to grow older faster and face contracting populations, thus weighing on economic growth.  In contrast, some developing countries in Latin America, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa are expected to benefit from larger working-age populations, offering opportunities for a demographic dividend if coupled with improvements in infrastructure and skills. 

Based on the report, we begin to see a picture of the future, with jobs focused around data, cybersecurity, trades and senior care being the most in demand, while other positions will be replaced by technology. 

Web3 will, and frankly already has, changed where we work and the way we work, says Lacey Kaelani Founder of MetaIntro, a professional resume wallet. Web3 technologies will impact the future of work in three main areas: 

  1. Decentralized organizations: DAOs have created a new form and meaning to collaboration and coordination amongst distributed teams and stakeholders. DAOs are also enabling the fluidity of work for freelancers, making it increasingly common for an individual to contribute to various projects at a single time. This way of working reinforces the concept of a freelance-focused economy. 
  1. Data ownership and control: Web3 is enabling web3 employees and companies to own and control their own data, rather than relying on centralized service providers to store and manage it. This will lead to new opportunities for data-driven businesses and the development of new types of data-driven products and services. What does this mean for the next five years? More unique work opportunities. More innovation. 
  1. Crypto-friendly asynchronous (async) workplaces: Teams are now distributed all over the world, meaning organizations are now encouraged to run async. With teams distributed in different countries, it also means different currencies. This is a classic reason for enforcing crypto payments in the workplace, and globally distributed companies are already beginning to test paying employees in crypto.

Thinking long-term

If you want to hedge your bets on having a fulfilling career in a future role, it’s best to start thinking long-term. 

Have you ever met someone who can easily plan five, even ten years down the road? This isn’t about predicting the future, but rather being present now to understand where things are likely headed. 

For example, if you work as a copywriter you've probably noticed that ChatGPT can now write copy for a variety of things such as social media posts, emails, and responses to customers. Hype Partners, a Web3 marketing agency, even let ChatGPT run their Twitter account for a week

Image source: Medium

Now you may be worried. Will ChatGPT be able to take over your whole job? By taking the time to think long-term you’ll begin to see the answer is no. 

“Here’s the brutal truth.” says Nicolas Cole, Co-founder of Ship30for30 a 30-day writing cohort, “If AI was going to steal your job, you weren’t doing very high-quality writing in the first place.” 

Image source: Twitter

As a copywriter, you’ll need to come up with fresh and clear ideas. You could use ChatGPT or other AI to assist you, but in the end, you will need to tweak the writing to suit the client's voice and brand style. You’ll need to learn from it and adapt. And — to stay a few steps ahead — you could add new skills to your plate like data analysis, UX/UI design, or editing. That’s where reskilling comes in (more on that below).

As for other ChatGPT use cases, the chat bot was trained to understand the human intent in a question and provide helpful and harmless answers. It could therefore be used in healthcare or other customer service chats, as a search query similar to Google, scheduling and appointment booking and more. Currently, there are some limitations, as ChatGPT is trained to provide answers that feel right to humans but may not always be factual. As one user shared, they received an answer about elephants being the largest mammal to lay eggs, which is wildly false. 

Image source: Twitter

This technology may still have a few bugs to work out, but it is revolutionary. Many predict we will begin to see its effects across multiple industries. What is more likely, in the time being, is that those in customer service roles today will be able to use AI like ChatGPT to work more efficiently. 

Reskilling (and its barriers)

Today we are experiencing what is known as a "digital divide." On one side, there are individuals who don’t understand how to use emerging technologies and will be left behind when it comes to securing high-paying jobs in the future. On the other side, there are individuals who are actively reskilling and learning how to use new and advanced technologies, such as new devices, high-speed internet, AI, and applications backed by blockchain.

Unfortunately, the digital divide is not just about who wants to keep up — it also has to do with who has access to the necessary technology and education. Adults with disabilities are less likely to own digital devices than those without, adults in rural areas have less access to high-speed internet and those among aging populations likely aren't advancing their technological use as quickly as a teenager.

According to the Pew Research Center, adults who live in rural areas are more likely to say access to high-speed internet is a major problem. Some 24% percent of rural adults had trouble accessing the internet, compared with 13% of urban adults and 9% of suburban adults. A similar study conducted between January 25 and February 8, 2021 showed that just 62% of adults with a disability own a desktop or laptop computer compared with 81% of those without a disability. 

However, AI actually offers some promising use cases that could support accessibility, given the right contexts and education. If you’ve been online in the past week you’ve likely seen the trend of AI art creating profile pictures from selfies. Lensa is an AI app that generates 100 AI art images from a photo in just ninety minutes. With the rise of AI completing tasks like this, many people have begun wondering about automation and job replacement. However, the person below highlights one of the benefits for those who can use such tools to create and enter the workforce.  

Image source: Twitter

Similarly, those who are interested in Web3 and new technologies such as non-fungible tokens, new social apps like lens.xyz, or new ways of coding such as deploying smart contracts, will need to stay vigilant about learning. 

“I personally believe the entire web3 workforce should continuously be up-skilling their resume,” says Kaelani, “With new technologies and tooling updates being pushed out into the ecosystem every day, we're in an incredibly fast-paced industry that requires us to be consistently learning. Always be learning.”

So how do you start reskilling? 

Try joining an affordable online communities or educational platforms that allows members to participate in free online events such as educational Twitter spaces and lectures while bringing people together to build their professional network. Here are some examples:

It’s never too late to start learning something new and putting those skills to use. Employers will often be looking for someone who can take on multiple projects and if you have the ability to move between departments, you automatically become an asset. 

“Over the next five years, you'll continue to see major Web2 companies making the strategic decision to move into Web3”, says Kaelani. “What will they need in order to be able to successfully make that change? Web3 talent. That's YOU. Continue learning, solidifying your knowledge of both web3 tooling and culture, and building a diverse skill set that employers can't ignore.”

Take it from those who've done it: “I started learning 3D art and animation over the past year,” says Cody CollieSzach, an audio engineer who is currently learning new skills to get into game design. “I was seeing all of these people online be able to work from home and make amazing creations. With the metaverse, using tools like Blender and Cinema4D are valuable skills.”  

Culture and community 

In the years to come, the culture of work will change even more. 

Once business owners catch up to the data, we will see more flexible, asynchronous working hours that allow employees to work when they want as long as the work gets done.  According to a 2019 Staples survey, 90% of employees said flexible work arrangements would increase their morale, and we've only seen the remote work trend accelerate during the coronavirus pandemic.

While async work environments do require adjustment, they have their purported benefits for those who embrace them: A systematic review and meta-analysis conducted in August 2022 by researchers of West University of Timisoara, found that the results offered strong support that taking short breaks during working hours is beneficial for individuals' health and productivity. And according to UK research conducted by recruitment consultancy Capability Jane, 92% of millennials identify flexibility as a top priority when job hunting.

More companies will begin hiring for culture and training for skill. In the past, if you didn’t fit the job description or have a four-year college degree, it was unlikely that you’d get an interview. Today, if you have the skills and you’re willing to learn, companies are more open to hiring you despite a lack of formal education. In 2022, the Harvard Business Review partnered with Emsi Burning Glass, a leading labor-market data company, to analyze more than 51 million jobs posted between 2017 and 2020. They learned that employers were resetting degree requirements in a large number of roles. Those that would have previously required a four-year degree now required some post-secondary education or less. They determined that skill-based hiring was on the rise. 

Community will also continue to be important for both businesses and individuals looking to secure employment. Joining a community that has your back will be a game-changer and learning how to properly network could mean the difference between being unemployed and looking for work, or being hired within months. 

Start networking on social media through sites like LinkedIn or Twitter and stay up-to-date on new sites and apps emerging that can assist you. As for Web3-specific tools, MetaIntro is a multi-chain custodial wallet that holds proof of employment, proof of skill and proof of education — replacing the PDF resume. Tr3butor is a platform that will help you find your next career challenge and pay you for referrals. 

The opportunity is endless and the future looks bright. Here’s to health, happiness, and the positive work cultures of the future. 


Carlee is a content writer and copywriter working in the Web3 space. Connect with her on Twitter @carlee_writes

This article and all the information in it does not constitute financial advice. If you don’t want to invest money or time in Web3, you don’t have to. As always: Do your own research.

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