Robot-run mail rooms, lucid-dreaming, beach working: is this the future of work?

Campaign and Huawei UK asked four creatives to present what work looks like in 2071: here’s how they responded…

by Georganna Simpson
Last Updated: 14 Nov 2021

Would you like to time-travel 50 years ahead to the 2070s? If the answer is yes, then I’m guessing the last thing you want to see is the workplace. 

But, don’t run away just yet, wouldn’t it be intriguing to see what working life looks like in 2071? We do spend around a third of our lives working after all. 

This month, Campaign asked four talented freelancers to imagine it by setting them a creative challenge, in partnership with Huawei UK. We asked the freelancers to (digitally) paint us a picture (or animation) that teleports us there, using the epic HUAWEI MateView monitor which boasts 4k resolution and more than a billion colours. And each one has created a digital masterpiece to illustrate their vision.


Joe Joiner creates his vision using the HUAWEI MateView. 

Will we still be fighting the return to the office? Or will the office be redundant altogether? Will the robots have taken over? 

If it’s up to freelance graphic designer Kieron Lewis, we’ll all be working outdoors come rain or shine. Or according to illustrator David Oku, we’ll be overrun by beautifully designed robots. 

While multi-disciplined designer Joe Joiner believes we’ll leave linear time behind in 2071, completing the working day in a matter of seconds. Conceptual designer Elspeth Watson thinks sleep is going to revolutionise work and strip out all the dull bits.

Click here to view their work in full – and cast your vote below: 

WORK IN 2071: THOUGHTS, FEELINGS AND FEEDBACK

We asked some creative powerhouses and workplace experts what they thought of the premonitions – here’s what they said:

Nicky Bullard, chair, MRM Europe & chief creative officer at MRM UK: 
"My mind was blown by Sleep Working. We know about Lucid Dreaming, the skill of controlling dreams, but as creative people we know also that the magic happens when we aren’t always conscious of it happening. When you wake up and write that headline down.  Or have awoken with the perfect soundtrack ringing in your ears.  Those moments have always fascinated me.  Oooh."

David D’Souza, membership director at CIPD:
"The ideas perfectly capture the potential for change and the contrasting optimistic and more dystopian views of what that might look like for people and the world of work. Whether it’s freeing up time for enjoyment by finding a way to work whilst we sleep or starting to toy with our concept of time, the concepts all recognise the role of technology in creating a potential for the world of work to be fundamentally different in the not too distant future. Wellbeing, purpose and the environment in which work will happen are all explored in vivid and provocative ways."

Rania Robinson, CEO & partner at Quiet Storm:
"These creatives have given me at least a little hope for great things in the 2071 world of work. Their craft has brought to life thought-provoking ideas in such conceptually different ways. I’m especially intrigued by Elspeth’s visualisation of working more in our sleep. This feels like the dream."

Ben Hopkins, Associate Creative Director at VCCP:
"Utopia or dystopia? Either way you look at it, how we work is always evolving, which I think David’s work balances beautifully in thought and execution.Kieron’s optimism provides a literal breath of fresh air as we all watch COP26 and its implications for our planet’s future. As for Elspeth, I love her ‘start-up’ thinking but feel AI will manage the mundane where the power of lucid dreaming can unlock a purer, undistracted form of personal creativity. Having just watched Facebook’s Meta-morphosis, Joe’s work is perhaps the most thought-provoking as we prepare to manage time through multiple realities."

Daniela Badalan, senior marketing manager at Huawei UK:
“We've created this initiative with
 Campaign in search of fresh, creative visions on how work could look like in 2071. And we are delighted to see how the four creatives have been able to use the 4K resolution and the 1+ billion colours on the HUAWEI MateView to bring to life some incredibly thought-provoking ideas. I loved the optimism in each on how we can find better ways to tackle current challenges - whether it's the focus on wellbeing through sleep working or getting closer to nature, but also integrating technology with purpose.”

Suzanne Bidlake, commercial editor at Campaign:
"Joe’s gorgeous animation is cleverly thought-provoking in its beauty-and-boredom axis. Where’s the fulfilment in being productive when it’s so transitory and we no longer have to “find” time to listen to birdsong?

David’s hyper-detailed, bright and playful images would not look out of place in a brilliant children’s book but the message they deliver smacks a real punch to the under-belly.

The future Kieron envisions is grounded but optimistic, with a real sense of possibility. The apparent near-normality of his ad designs belie some powerful shifts that he’s nudging us towards.

There’s a real sense that Elsie’s SleepWork could happen. Beautifully conceived, wittily conveyed and with a positive outcome. Making time, I’d hope, for that most creative of pursuits: daydreaming."

The over-riding message of all these creative visions? We need to think about what “work” is, where we find meaning and what are the things (climate change, purpose, wellbeing) that we all really ought to be working hardest on right now.

Could the HUAWEI MateView make your imagination explode? Explore more...

 

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