10 Most Popular Workforce Futurist Articles in 2021

Andrew Spence
4 min readDec 29, 2021

In my Workforce Futurist 2021 Roundup article I mentioned that I published 29 articles, with nearly 30,000 views, and close to 1000 subscribers (if you haven’t already you can help me over this milestone by clicking the link and subscribing).

We are only beginning to reframe work as societies and industries restructure rapidly. Here is some food for thought….

#1 — Unleashing The Decentralised Workforce

From slashies to livestreamers and solopreneurs. The most popular article was a longer essay outlining how an untapped workforce is utilising digital infrastructure to achieve its economic potential outside of traditional employment. It also asks 11 tricky questions for Workforce Futurists — none of which turned up on my family Christmas Quiz this year.

#2 — 🦄24 Fast Growing WorkTech Unicorns To Follow

We live in an era where technology dominates our attention.

Companies like Zoom, Slack, and Upwork have kept businesses going during the lockdowns. QE-bloated lazy capital is just itching to invest in anything providing more than 0.1% annual returns. Salesforce paid $28 billion for Slack. The investment category of #WorkTech was created. Depending on how you define it, there are now 20 to 30 Unicorns🦄 in this space. This article gives some factors behind the great Work Technology bull run, and in the interests of balance, outlines some factors why you might want to avoid investing in this sector with your college/pension fund.

(SPOILER Web3 turns the employer/employee relationship upside down so a new infrastructure is needed)

#3 — How Organizational Network Analysis Can Increase Team Collaboration

All great work happens in teams. Yet most of our management and HR processes are designed around the individual.

A new set of tools and platforms are being developed that will form a new infrastructure of work. Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) measures patterns of collaboration by analyzing the interactions between people in networks, moving away from the static hierarchical views of organizations. This article gives examples of how ONA is used to solve business problems such as identifying informal leaders, assessing employee burnout risk, and supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives.

This article was part of a series on The New Technology of Teams — and appropriately was a collaboration with Francisco Marin from Cognitive Talent Solutions. You can also read this article in Spanish or Portuguese.

#4 — Blockchain and the Decentralised Workforce — Building a New Infrastructure of Work

Many are grappling with understanding the impact of emerging technologies on the world of work.

Yep, AI is less about chatting to KITT and more about adjusting algorithms and using advanced statistical techniques to help solve difficult business problems.

To understand the impact of Blockchain in work, focus less on the cryptography and the JPG you just bought for $2,500, and more about career data, centralised business models, and new ways of team-working.

Before the industry falls into its 7th hype cycle and a weird tribal war. Consider how this new technology might help the 3.4 billion in the global workforce, as well as the 50 million or so creators and crypto investors.

The article gives some context and useful resources here for those interested in DAOs, NFTs, digital credentials, and what the staffing and recruitment industry are building as we move slowly from Web2 to Web3.

#5 — Preventing the Great Burnout — Improving Wellbeing in the Workforce

As the last published article, this one has crept up the best-sellers list quickly.

We can debate the definition, and extent of burnout, wellbeing, and what causes it.

In the meantime, you can take some small measures to improve your own wellbeing.

And some will be in a position to do so for others. This article will not give you a glib list of ‘get well quick solutions’, but might provide some pointers for reframing the challenge and a list of useful references.

#6 NFTs and the Tokenisation of Work

Back in March, I asked Olive Allen if I could use her artwork in my article. I didn’t really need to ask, as the JPG was in the public domain. The image is an example of Non-Fungible Token (NFT) — where you can buy and sell the digital image rights.

Not everyone will make and sell NFTs, but what do the crypto creators tell us about the tokenisation of work?A

#7 Leonardo’s Legacy and the Web3 CV — A Renaissance in the New Infrastructure of Work

#8 How Work will Unbundle into Decentralised Teams — Platform cooperatives, digital guilds and DAOs

#9 Zoom Back to the Office — A Guide for Leaders — It’s not hybrid work, it’s work…

#10 Moonlighting in the Metaverse — Working in the Virtual Economy

Also worth a mention, there have been lots of different interpretations of the ‘The Great Resignation’ this year — here’s a different perspective with The Great Flourishing.



Andrew Spence

Passionate about making work better. Writes Workforce Futurist Newsletter.