I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.


As you know at FutureWork IQ we track global mega trends and then consider how these will impact the way we work in future and importantly how we can prepare. In view of this here are three areas we consider high priorities for leadership teams to have on their 2020 agendas.

UP YOUR CARBON LITERACY — This next decade is going to marked by a robust and concerted global effort to reduce carbon emissions. As a result, we highly recommend that your business becomes carbon literate. That means having a good understanding of how much and by what means carbon emissions are produced in the process of generating your revenue. This knowledge can then be used to have the urgent discussion on how revenue generation can be decoupled from the need to burn fossil fuels.

A good start would to have your entire team get a good understanding of the latest climate science. There are some excellent online courses available from the worlds leading climate scientists. For example this course on edX entitled Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact from Dr Michael Mann.

You could also get lots of perspectives from this Twitter list which includes over 2,000 scientists working on the various aspects of climate change. Carbon Literacy is going to become a critical must have in-house skill.

CREATE AN OFFICE IN THE CLOUD — Or in other words, design and deploy a digital workplace that enables your team to work from anywhere, just as effectively as they would in-person in a physical office. The reasons to do this is becoming crystal clear. For example, an office in the cloud is way cheaper than a physical office and way more flexible and scaleable. Anywhere work makes teams more productive and happier. You can attract top talent regardless of where that talent is located. You can retain talent easier too. The list goes on.

Also, this is directly linked to the climate crisis mitigation and adaptation conversation that is going to become increasingly important and urgent as mentioned above. An office in the cloud can go a long way into immediately solving some of the emission reductions that need to happen. For example, it can dramatically impact the emissions created from daily commutes and the need to fly for business meetings.

Being able to work from anywhere is not only going to be about sustainable practices but will also form part of your Business Continuity Managment (BCM) plans which need to be in place to deal with a changing environment.

UP YOUR TEAMS VIRTUAL WORK SKILLS — An office in the cloud is only as good as individuals who are able to work effectively in it. What is the teams digital literacy like? How adept are they in being able to communicate and collaborate in technological rich environments? Can they use their media literacy to create content for consumption in these environments so they can convey their thinking and ideas to colleagues using digital media? What about their ICT literacy? Are they able to adapt and adopt digital workplace technologies easily? What about the ability to be tech savvy enough to solve basic technical issues while working from anywhere. There are a whole host of competencies that are required of a virtual digital worker. These digital literacy skills will enable your business to seamlessly work in an office in the cloud and acquiring these skills will put your business at a huge advantage.