As the world becomes all the more global, look to the trending evolution of effective people and products to predict the future of work, home & design…but don’t assume it will be bigger or better…instead, understand it will be more mobile, compact, nimble and agile.
Text by Francesca Cruz | June 1, 2018 | Lifestyle

How quickly time goes by — yes, I suppose I’ve started this article off on a cliché, but I mean it. Swoosh! That’s the sound of it going by. I’m on the other side of the world writing this — in an immaculately clean, pleasantly quiet, tiny, yet relaxed enough, train ride from Tokyo en route to the traditional town of Kyoto, Japan. Everything here is spotless, orderly and compact. It’s a culture that’s come up with a multitude of ways to miniaturize life, yet live with an appreciation for tradition and an earnest need for pomp & circumstance.
From all my travels, I’ve observed several things. For one, the world is only getting more congested. There are more of us, and as population increases (and I’m focusing on the Western World now), courtesy & consideration are not necessary catching up to the numbers. With so many different forms of communication technology affords us, we bond far less, and we’ve become a society of selfie indulgers, marketing 24/7 the me brand. We’re tirelessly in pursuit of the perfect angle to snap a picture and to quickly blast on a trifecta of social media platforms, missing out on that moment we so desperately want to capture because we are trying so hard to capture it; in place of reveling in it.
We sort of exist in a bubble that travels with us. Our moveable feast, but not of the religious kind, think more along the lines of Hemingway. We take our party, our work, and our brand with us everywhere we go. Living out of suitcases, as the world turns ever the more global, and relying on the latest gadget or app to make life smoother, faster and (hopefully) better.
In present time we can refer to it perhaps as our global banquet — we travel with our sublime abode, or chaos for some…it’s with us all the time. Personal space is fundamental now, because it’s immediate, consisting of what can travel with us (how far can we go with how much) and how we design it is everything. In our ever-growing global society, we need to travel light, combine our livelihood with our wellbeing and add dashes of adventure, while fully leveraging technology. Every gizmo that comes out tops the last with a newer mutated version of itself that’s all the more lightweight and faster.
In comes the force that’s at the forefront of high-tech: The Millennial Generation. They’ve been referred to as: a generation of people who need instant gratification and have short attention spans. But truth be told, they represent a passing of the torch, and are dominating the workplace. Millennials want greater flexibility, work-life balance, and global opportunities. They can pick up and re-establish themselves anywhere as long as they feel a sense of community — just point to a place on the map.
I refer to them as the Quicksilver Generation. They’re brilliant, quick-witted, well-read when it comes to classics, yet they can recite every successful tech entrepreneur with accompanying startup. You might be able to easily spot them — usually a bit Vitamin D-deprived, not as athletically inclined as generations past, and most could use some help in the area of social skills (they’ve spent far too much time alone in front of their devices), but boy-oh-boy are they highly adaptable and savvy when it comes to social media.
A study conducted by PwC, University Of Southern California and London Business School looks closer at the aspirations for work and life values of this generation: They want a flexible work culture; access to the most advanced technology; a sense of community; transparency in regards to career decisions, compensation and plenty of rewards and awards. Basically, they adhere to the concept that one size does not fit all and they desire global mobility.
Perhaps German 20-something Tech Startup, Programmer & Entrepreneur Martin Klepsch sums it up best: “Remote has become the new default,” he says. “If you don’t set up your company to support remote employees, you’re missing out on a lot of talent.” And that realization is where a lot of employers are currently missing the boat. Many feel the need to control their employees and micromanage their every move instead of trusting that the professionals they have hired will be able to complete their tasks at home or by telecommuting with little or no supervision. There’s nothing like rolling out of bed and getting the day started in your PJs. But that work style is not for everyone. That’s why it’s more important than ever for employers to offer their employees options of how they want to get their work done. Whatever the agreement, as long as deadlines are met and the results are stellar, everyone wins.
As we move toward becoming global citizens, Tony Jackson, VP of Education for Asia Society, embellishes this idea by adding that global competence is the ability to adapt, live and work well in a global economy and society. “It’s the ability to investigate key questions using international resources and communicating ideas well across diverse audiences, as well as the capacity to recognize and weigh other perspectives,” he says.
In the end, the future as we know it when it comes to home and work is destined to be compact, it will accompany us wherever we go, and it will be lightweight, stealth-fast and in constant motion — as we all should aspire be.