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Future State: Process

How will the work process evolve in the future?

January 22, 2020

Last year over 80 designers in 4 cities, including Detroit, were asked to formulate ideas about the future of work. These discussions centered around how work will change in the future and how those changes will affect People, Process, and Place.

Process: The End of Employees

Today, people embrace the Amazon mindset: give me what I need, the second I need it. It’s an era of just-in-time products and services, and while that’s all well and good for paper towels and prestige TV, what could it mean for the workplace?

An illustration of hands reaching a box in a store with a light bulb on the front next to a shopping cart already filled with boxes.

Future Staters predict that this accelerating need for speed, coupled with a steep rise in the number of freelancers in the coming years could create a new way to staff companies.

They imagine an open-source strategy for recruiting top talent and deploying it on a project-by-project basis. Today, companies are premised on a group of full-time employees and the occasional consultant.

Imagine a world where that distribution is flipped. Now, companies are built and rebuilt project-by-project, day-by-day, by handpicking from a large pool of consultants. As each project changes, so does your team.

In the future, a post-employee business model will allow companies expedite processes, get to market quicker, design better and faster, and innovate productively, all by harnessing the industry’s top talent for the specific task at hand.

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