Receiving data from 2030

Hi, I’m Viro.

I live together with my partner and our little one, he just turned three. Before he was born we moved out of the busy city to the countryside.

That was in 2024 and there were many vacant houses – the village was practically deserted and prices were really cheap. We made the decision just as the law guaranteeing high speed internet everywhere was passed. That really started a trend and rent prices in the city decreased drastically. If we wanted to sell today, our house would be worth a lot more. But we really fell in love with the village and want to stay here anyways.

I got to know most of the locals through the co-working space in the village centre. The co-working space is a cooperative. Even though they’re not my actual colleagues it’s great to be around others in real life whilst working remotely. We often have lunch in the small community garden we have in the back. All of my co-working space and home office expenses are covered by my company.

With some tasks, I feel like I can focus better when working from home. But I always feel a bit self conscious, because through video calls I can see how beautiful some of my colleague's places are compared to ours. I mean, our place is nice, but it usually looks like a mess if Elias has been playing around the house. That’s why I recently bought a licence for a 3D video call background that looks incredibly real. But most of the time, I think my colleagues don’t mind seeing a cute toddler during the meetings every now and then.

Overall, we have a nice sense of team spirit in the office. There is something social going on almost every week: whether it’s a virtual yoga class, a cooking workshop or just hanging out after work. Sometimes the socialising gets overwhelming, but my colleagues would be sad if I missed out.

Ah, by the way, I’m a developer working in cybersecurity and data protection. We are a distributed company of 1.412 people in 79 countries speaking 99 different languages, that’s pretty cool. I think I had a bit of an advantage when applying for the job, since the company, which is located in my home country, is legally bound to hire a certain percentage of local residents. But it doesn’t impact them that much anyway, since paying people different wages is a thing of the past now.

When I started working at the company we still had some issues with all the different time zones. Sometimes I had to work really late to accommodate some of my coworkers working on US time. But that changed when the right to disconnect came into effect. Ever since, I haven’t been contacted after 4pm. Now we are working asynchronously and there are very few hours a day where we need to be available. I have more focus time and I’m very flexible. I really started valuing this when I became a parent, because I can structure my day around the time my partner takes over in caring for our son.

In general, I feel my work is more task than attendance orientated. I mean we have projects and we have timelines. If I’m not being productive – they will know, so there's no need to keep constant tabs on us. I had to improve my writing skills though. Today I am much better at communicating and documenting my work in text form. If I need direct feedback I can always contact my work buddy Kim. Sometimes we end up talking about football instead of work but taking breaks is also valuable. We got to know each other through the matchmaking tool that my company introduced.

We love to live here, but sometimes we miss the city life and seeing old friends and family. Some of them still have jobs that bind them to the city. So when we visit them, we always try extending our stay, which is made possible by remote working and flexible schedules. I can’t believe that in the past I would sometimes travel somewhere just for a weekend – it seems inconceivable today.

  • B001 _ Wind turbine toy
    B001 _ Wind turbine toy

    Free time and personal life are highly valued in this future scenario. Having a family can be combined with one’s work life and showing it in your daily work life isn’t being dismissed by other co-workers or employers. The toy being a wind turbine is a hint that environmental issues are of great concern in the future.

  • B002 _ Growing Together book
    B002 _ Growing Together book

    In this future scenario co-working spaces create a feeling of community by creating things together, like a community garden. The fact that co-working spaces could happen to appear increasingly in rural areas underlines this thought.

  • B003 _ "Not Contactable” notification
    B003 _ "Not Contactable” notification

    In January 2021 the European Parliament called for an EU law that grants workers the right to digitally disconnect from work without facing negative repercussions. In this future scenario, the law to disconnect came already into effect and therefore people can’t be contacted after a certain time. This regulation allows a healthy work-life-balance when working in a remote situation.

  • B004 _ Note by co-worker
    B004 _ Note by co-worker

    Working remotely could affect the well-being of workers since the lines between work and free time increasingly blur. Taking proper breaks is often mentioned as essential and can be beneficial to a healthy work-life-balance. In this future scenario taking breaks is seen as valuable and work is not the most important thing in life. Another co-worker might have placed this note on the desk of the person in order to remind them to not stress too much about work.

  • B005 _ Old Barn co-working mug
    B005 _ Old Barn co-working mug

    Remote work makes it possible to work from anywhere. This could lead to many people deciding to move out of cities to the countryside, since rural co-working spaces are providing workplaces in smaller villages. Viro’s personal coffee mug shows that he’s working in a rural co-working space and compared to most of the other alternative future scenarios he is mostly working from the same place.