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.

In 2019 if you had asked leadership teams what the biggest threat to their business would be almost none would have mentioned a pandemic.

The interesting thing is that those who had prioritized digital transformation prior to this event fared much better than those who didn’t. The truth is technology saved many businesses during this crisis. (See Marc Andreessen’s Technology Saves the World)

Today many leadership teams are about to make the same mistake as they did in 2019, by not seeing the next major global crisis on the horizon — the need to radically reduce carbon emissions. As with the pandemic, drastic measures will be taken to accomplish this and those who have used this past experience to break their reliance on physical locations and mobility to generate an income will fare vastly better than those who haven’t.

There has been much derision heaped on Mark Zuckerberg’s talk of the Metaverse, however, it would be a serious mistake to discard this concept. The pandemic has in fact forced us into a crude version of the Metaverse, as we spent more and more time in virtual Zoom meetings for example. (See Jeremiah Owyang’s comment on this here on LinkedIn) These digital workplaces are set to expand and improve.

Those teams that become comfortable with working in an “office in the cloud” (ie becoming location independent) will be readier for the business Metaverse which is arriving faster than most think, driven by our need to decouple from fossil fuels.