It’s time to call it. We’re through the looking glass and work is fundamentally changing. I had been thinking that once the pandemic was sufficiently behind us, we’d see people flocking back to the office and that would be that.

I marveled that Salesforce went so far out of its way to quickly develop Work.com and Salesforce Anywhere to support a workforce made more mobile than ever. But I also worried that those wonderful products would be as useful as a screen door on a submarine once we went back to the office. But now, I think Salesforce might be looking prescient.

Ironically, I’ve been working from my home office for almost 20 years, and it never occurred to me that other people might want the chance to do the same. I can only say that I was wrong. Lots of hunches and some interesting data tell us that other people don’t necessarily relish going back to their old jobs or their old ways of working.

The hunches, for instance that the stimulus money is making it hard to hire, turn out to be right but only in the way that a broken clock is right twice a day.

Instead, many people have used the break to assess where they are in their lives and careers and some, enough to cause a trend, are saying no thanks to the old status quo. Many are also seeking better pay. So maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to cancel the Work.com subscription.

Road Warrior Accommodations

Anecdotally, people who can work from anywhere literally are. They are buying RVs in record numbers and hitting the road. Many are retired or scaling back on their hours, but I personally know others who are in prime working age and who are hitting the road.

Moreover, if the population of working age people isn’t growing, it suggests that people in the retirement range might be in demand though businesses will need to accommodate them (and their RV dreams).

From the outside it seems the digital disruption is being disrupted. If the original disruption was about leveraging company data to better understand customers and to meet them where they are, the new disruption depends on all that plus supporting worker efforts wherever their lifestyles take them. For some this means working at home; but for others it means intermittent connectivity and mobile devices.

Thus, cloud-based mobile worker support might not be fully articulated yet and we might not even know what apps and modules need developing. The things that are certain though are that we don’t know what we don’t know and that working from home might have only been the first iteration.