The Future of Work in Web3
I’m going to start this article by stating that anyone who tells you they know what the future of work, the future of web3, and the future of Crypto looks like is full of BS. Of course, this is just my perspective; please, feel free in five years to abuse me on Twitter for how wildly off I was. However, I put this together with the help of the Pyme team as it shapes the company we are building today and the products we believe people will need in the future.
At Pyme, our mission is to make hiring better. I will cover that in many future articles about why we think hiring is broken and how we plan on achieving our mission, yet first, I think it’s important to explain how we see the future. One of my mentors over a decade ago told me to imagine the future we wanted to live in and then work hard to bring that world to life. Idealistic, sure. Yet it gives me a sense of purpose to wake up each day believing that I am working to build a better tomorrow.
So here goes; I think the future of work will revolve around the following 4 key areas:
- Remote first
- 2. On-Chain and Crypto native
- 3. Freelance, driven by workers’ passions
- 4. Decentralized and community-owned
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic sped up the move to remote working. With the widespread acceptance of working from home, on a beach, or in a forest, we see more and more people choosing to live independently of where their company is located.
With tools such as Slack, Notion, Discord, and Zoom, it has never been easier to be part of a team while not being in the same physical location. Now, I’m not saying it’s easy. Far from it, and it is something we continue to work hard to improve every single day within the Pyme team. Half of the team is located in the magical Tbilisi, Georgia (the country), with the other half dotted around the world. Yet having lived in nine countries, I personally see the appeal of being able to work with teams I believe in yet have the flexibility to move.
I have no problem saying that this is a belief that I have changed my mind considerably over the past twelve months. A year ago, in building my previous company, I vividly remember telling our head of HR that I could never imagine a world where anyone did any productive work except in the office. We had potential staff who wanted to work remotely that we turned down as we saw office working as the only way.
My personal preference is still to work in an office; I love the buzz of people working, striving to be better, and wanting to build a business. Yet I understand many do not. That the flexibility to be around their family, work a different schedule that suits them, travel, or live in a location more suited to the life they want.
I am inspired by companies such as GitLab, which do an incredible job of hiring global talent, leading with a remote-first policy and making all their policies, documentation, and most importantly, how they make remote-first work for them. In addition, with the recent single-year growth from $4m ARR to $100m ARR, companies like Deel have shown that the demand for remote workers has never been higher.
Today, my views have changed. I massively value having a team with different backgrounds, upbringing, and cultures. It gives us differences of thought, ideas, and opinions, yet it also allows us to make a better product. With a population fast approaching eight billion, the world is full of incredible talents working hard to build a better life and contribute to communities they believe in. I see a future of the world where workers demand to be remote first. And I see companies understanding the value of a remote and diverse team.
On-Chain and Crypto native
The chances are that if you are reading this in April 2022, then you have a pretty clear understanding of what On-Chain and Crypto native means. And while that has less to do with the technologies involved in blockchains and more to do with Pyme being a month old, it highlights how early we are in building a working world of the future.
I first came across Bitcoin in 2012; I lived and worked in Manchester, England, for a hosting company. Many hours were spent reading Techcrunch each week, and I kept reading about how this technology would be the future of money. Naivety, shortsightedness, and a healthy middle-class upbringing where any spare cash I had went into buying an apartment meant that I never acted upon my desire to own this magical money of the future.
However, by the time the crypto bubble of 2017 rolled around, I firmly believed that not only was all crypto gambling but that it was doomed to fail and go to zero. Thankfully, a trip to the US at the end of 2021 helped me realize the foolishness of my thinking, and short of spending the rest of my life trying to invent the time machine, I thought it was time to learn more with a clear mind and a fresh perspective.
I won’t bore you with the days and weeks of falling deep down the rabbit hole, yet I will share with you what changed. Understanding the ability to digitally prove ownership sent my mind looping for weeks. This single idea is that by using the technologies built by blockchains such as Ethereum and the power of NFTs, someone could prove they owned an asset, and if they could do that, they could prove a qualification, skill, and even their work experience.
And so Pyme was born. And we are incredibly passionate about helping shape a world where people can prove their skills. A world where skills, education, and experience are on-chain. A web3 world where the best worker gets the job gets paid instantly in Crypto and can build a profile proving their experience.
Where a company can verify in a matter of seconds if a worker has the skills, education, and experience for a role before interviewing them. Gone will be the days where hiring is driven by a resume that rewards those best at self-promotion, with massive inherent bias built in or social media profiles that have become an echo chamber of self-grandeur and false bravado.
Today’s work platforms let down hirers, and they underserve and undervalue workers. 20% fees to workers is a tax on workers, and having hired hundreds of freelance workers, I have yet to meet one that does not resent the fees they are charged. Slow payout times, lack of support, and the ever-increasing need for the platform to improve shareholder returns mean it’s time for a change.
That’s why we made Pyme free to hire. And free to work. We exist to help the world do the work they love. Due to the nature of blockchains, workers get paid instantly upon completion of a project. No more 20% fees for hiring and working. No more 14-day payout times or charging workers to apply for jobs.
It may be hard to see, especially if you are skeptical like I was for many years. Yet I couldn’t be more confident today that in the future, the vast majority of workers will be paid in Crypto and their experiences verified on-chain.
Freelance, driven by workers’ passions
Growing up in the north of England as a child, I remember hearing stories of people working from the moment they left school at sixteen until they retired. They were rewarded with a gold clock that went on a mantlepiece as thanks for a life of dedicated work. Thankfully, in 2022 that has changed, yet I would predict that over the next five years, we will see a far more dramatic shift than over the past fifty.
A study by the US Bureau of Labor statistics in 2020 shows how dramatically this has shifted. Workers aged 55 to 64 (9.9 years) work for the same company more than three times longer than those aged 25 to 34 (2.8 years), and it would be safe to say that this trend is likely to continue. Today, workers have more opportunities for flexibility and freedom in where they work and when and for whom they work. In addition, the rise of the on-demand gig economy, the increase of freelance platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr, and the emergence of new industries for work, web3 and social media, have led to more and more workers choosing non-traditional ways of working.
While workers today have more freedom, they also have more awareness. Leadership transparency, corporate and social responsibility, and a company’s values and beliefs now shape who to work for. I expect this trend to continue and a future of work emerges where workers align themselves far closer to missions they believe in and communities they want to help grow.
The myth of millennials not working hard is failed by the data. Millennials and GenZ are willing to work incredibly hard, yet it has to be for a cause they believe in, think they can contribute to, and fairly reward them for their input. The emergence of Crypto, DAOs and web3 communities will only speed this up.
Here at Pyme, we envision a future where workers work on and with, not for, communities and projects that they believe in, that help them grow, and that incentivize them to contribute to the broader goal, whatever that may be. A world where workers work on multiple projects at a time, often in different areas of interest. A worker may play a lead developer role on one project while also simultaneously filling a community growth role in another.
Decentralized and community-owned
Tokens will be the gateway to the future of work that we see. The power to organize a group of people incentivized to contribute to its growth is fundamentally shifting how companies operate, manage and distribute workloads. We believe in the power of DAOs, and while there are still many many things to figure out, a world where people are fairly rewarded for their contribution will not only bring more equality yet also far greater wealth to many more people around the world. Unfortunately, the idea of democratizing work feels like a web3 buzzword, already overused to death. Yet, for now, democratizing work is the easy way to sum up, what we wish to accomplish.
I have already touched on workers’ power to pursue projects that fulfill their passions. Yet, in a world of Youtube courses, information has never been more freely available, and this will only continue. Open source technology projects are not a new concept; however, combined with the power of decentralized ownership and tokenomics of work, more and more projects will decide that a community can be built faster by moving to community ownership early on.
I see users of platforms in the future demanding decentralization, open-source, and community ownership versus the current model that over-indexes shareholders instead of community, users, and contributors. While I currently see a need for companies to start platforms, we believe in building community first with a clear roadmap towards a DAO structure, token release, and an open-source platform. I have zero doubt that far cleverer people than me will figure out the tools needed to improve DAO operations, DAO tooling, and incentive structures.
I believe Pyme can play a role in shaping that future by connecting more of the world together, helping workers find the communities they want to be a part of, and supporting the communities to find the people they need to thrive.
The views above are my own, so if some of them turn out to be wildly romantic or straight-up wrong, let that be on me and not Pyme. A month after launching Pyme, I committed to writing an article every day for 100 days. Firstly, as a way to build in public yet most importantly (hopefully) to help more people see a better future for work in web3.
I would love to know your thoughts; what are your predictions around the future of work? Hit me up on Twitter and let me know!
Here at Pyme, we are building a platform for the future of work. This will include jobs, bounties, internships, and more in web3 as we strive to improve hiring. On-chain proof of skills and experience will verify qualifications. We are a small team and always need help; reach out to any of the Pyme team on our Discord and feel free to pitch us how you can help.
- Workers want the freedom to live and work where and how they want.
- Verifying skills and experience will help the best person for the job get the job.
- Current platforms charge too much, so we made Pyme free to hire and work. Plus, workers get paid instantly in Crypto.
- The worker of tomorrow wants to contribute to a cause they believe in and be fairly rewarded for their contribution.
- DAOs and Open source are the organizations of web3 with tokens as the gateway and the reward.
Originally published at https://pyme.team.