The Future of Work: Go With the F.L.O.W.

Posted By on September 21, 2015

HR departments, recruiters, and believers that you need to work for companies are all in a tailspin. They tout that they have your #dreamjob. The truth is, they don’t.

They’re liars. I barely believe that that truly think this.

‘The Future of Work: F.L.O.W. Through Life’ isn’t about Millennials with some statistics about experiences vs. possessions and gigs vs. jobs. It’s about a wind of change that’s happening.

Salaries are getting lower.

People are malcontent at 3 weeks vacation and medicore benefits.

There is a rise in people earning, saving, jumping off, freelancing, downsizing and living the life they want. The #dreamjob doesn’t exist. The happy life does.

HR is scared. Mostly because they’ve lost touch with the ‘human’ in Human resources. You are a number.

And, moreover, governments are scared. They know that tough times are coming. Categorization of workers is all up in the air. Even contractors and freelancers are lacking the ability to own that identity because of the safety nets thrown under us.


In London, back in August, I gave a talk at London Futurists called ‘Relax, Everything is Normal’. It was a wake up call to the changing tide of how work will be and how we will need to flow through life.


In London I went one step further and came up with a new model for considering how we work – F.L.O.W.

  1. Flexibility, effectiveness and efficiency
  2. Learning
  3. Open communities
  4. Working smarter

1. Flexibility, effectiveness and efficiency

The new worker modus operandi is about open communications, reduced ownership, and ability to perform.

They use free video, text, and chat platforms.

They actively use on-demand cars, bikes, accommodation, office space, resources and public transport.

They move around the city, country (and world) easily.

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Platforms used include Car2Go, Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, Spinlister, Skype, Slack, Trello, AirBNB, VRBO, Breather,

 2.  Learning

Workers are jacks, and Jills, of all trades, and masters when they need to be will mean a shortfall in specialism.

They uses online learning platforms and forums as a matter of habit.

They looks to freelance talent to make up the knowledge gap.

They change career path entirely every 3 to 5 years, even if life is settled and happy

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Platforms used include The Open University, Codeacademy, Coursera, Udacity, Khan Academy,, Sensay,

3.  Open communities

Workers are plugged into online seminars and conferences.

They actively create and curate online, and in-person communities.

They volunteer within the community by offering on-demand access to skills and even possessions.

They barter for goods and open their possessions and properties for rent.

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Platforms used include, Ning, LInkedin, Nextdoor, Periscope, Double Robotics, Diaspora, Tinder. 

4. Working smarter

9-to-5 is a forgotten context, as is the 25 days a year vacation. In 10 years time it will seem insane that we used to operate that way.

Employers are interviewed by workers for suitability.

They operate online freelancing and using freelance sites to hire resources as and when they need them.

Salary, savings, and settling down is not an option for the majority. Life is a hustle and workers grow to love this.

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Platforms used include,, GlassDoor, Linkedin, AngelList, CircleUp, Kickstarter, Indiegogo.

The big question I have is ‘How is the global economy going to handle mass self-employment and freedom?’

I encourage all of you to read this article published in The Guardian ‘The end of capitalism has begun‘. The future will get a little darker before liberation and happiness prevails. Stay on course.

I also think that the English band ‘The Others’ summarizes this spirit as well with their song ‘Lackey’.


Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.


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