A Glimpse Into the Future by Amber Abercrombie

From: Organizational Fortune Telling Inc

To: An Anxious Organizational Dynamics Student

Date: June 28, 2020

Subject: A Glimpse Into The Future


Good Afternoon,

Thank you for reaching out to the world’s first and only Organizational Fortune Teller! What an interesting time to live in and now more than ever do we look to the future. These are typically done in person, but, as you know, the pandemic limits in-person interaction. Usually, my readings are also personalized to a specific individual and their organization, but I know you expressed uncertainty in the world at large after your graduation. To provide a little hope (hopefully, we’ll see what the cards say!) I will be looking into the collaborative workforce two years from now for the United States to get a glimpse of what the future holds beyond the pandemic. As you may notice, my deck is very different from your average tarot deck. It has been specifically designed to capture the mystic arts of organizations. Because we live in such bleak times, I have elected to use my Retro Psychedelic deck as a homage to simpler, more colorful times. And with that said, you can find you reading below.

The first card I draw is Balance.

Balance shows a scale, upholding two sides of work: remote and in-person. This card manifests the leveling of those two ideas. For those who can work remotely, we will see a better balance of home and work life. Completely remote jobs or hybrid models may no longer be a distant dream. A restructuring of how work is done, both remotely and onsite, will take place. Many companies will allow employees to work remotely permanently, or at least for a few days a week. Less time will be spent commuting and more time will be able to be spent with family and friends. This will increase job satisfaction for many.[1] However, there is always another side to each coin. The work/life separation line may fade, contributing to the sense of being always available. Balance may be disrupted.[2]

The restructuring of collaboration may also take place to manage the balance between remote employees and onsite employees. Collaboration may be changed by allowing more remote efforts with online conferences that provide opportunities for a larger number of participants. Office space may also be able to facilitate larger in-person collaboration spaces without infringing on office space. The balance between what can be done in person vs online may be found and technology can start to play a larger part in different departments within organizations where technology has generally been lacking.[3]  Budgets may also be balanced better with lack of physical space, allowing a company to put more into the company and its employees. Yet, the downside will be increased monitoring by employers to measure production, even more so than a traditional office. [4]

Next, I draw Health.

This card presents the caduceus, the sign of medicine. Taken from Hermes, the caduceus symbolizes speed and health, both things that we wish will shine a light on this dark time. In this time, more than most, we have begun to be very vigilant and attentive to health. This will not change in the post-pandemic workforce. The importance of health initiatives will be even more present than in the pre-pandemic world. Employees will be encouraged to work remotely if sick or take time off for illness. Health measures such as mask-wearing and sanitizer may be present for less-deadly viruses.[5] Mental health will also be an employer concern to better combat fatigue, stress, depression, and other mental health issues that arise in the workforce. The pandemic and social issues that have arisen during this period will have shed light on the mental health effects of stress, fear, social isolation, and rapid changes in society.[6] The future will also see an improvement in social health. The way we interact with coworkers, whether in person or virtually will be forever changed. Relationships among diverse populations and underrepresented populations will be made better with proper awareness, examination, and action.[7]

Lastly, I draw Impermanence.

I am sorry to say that this one provides the most fluctuation in its positivity. Here we see the hourglass, almost empty. The sands of time will run out for many businesses. Many small businesses will be forced to close due to the lack of revenue. However, the hourglass has just turned over for many others, especially technology companies. The hourglass also represents the idea of impermanence for employees. On one hand, work for gig and contracting employees will increase. This works out well for independent contractors and gig employees as more opportunities will be open for freelancing. These workers can choose their clients and the work they want to do. However, employers may also move to increase remote work as a way to let go full-time employees and contract out projects or roles for greater productivity with lower cost. This may also provide future instability in the event of another widespread economic change as contractors and gig workers may be let go first.[8]

I know this is a bleak time and I hope that this has provided some hope in the changing world. The future is bright. The world will improve. There will be challenges and dark spots but we can work towards a better future. We have seen many systems collapse under the weight of The Great Reckoning  and uncertainty is rampant in these unprecedented times. I have faith that we will get through this and that we can come out stronger than ever, both professionally and personally.


Stay safe, stay well, and don’t lose hope,

Organizational Fortune Telling Inc























[1] Boland, B., De Smet, A., Palter, R., & Sanghvi, A. (2020, June 19). Reimagining the office and work life after COVID-19. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/reimagining-the-office-and-work-life-after-covid-19

[2] Hite, L., McDonald, K. (2020, July 13) Careers after COVID-19: challenges and changes, Human Resource Development International, 23:4, 427-437, DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2020.1779576

[3] Lund, S., Cheng, W., Dua, A., De Smet, A. Robinson, O., & Sanghvi, S. (2020, September 28). What 800 executives envision for the postpandemic workforce. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/what-800-executives-envision-for-the-postpandemic-workforce

[4] Friedman, Z. (2020, May 06). How COVID-19 Will Change The Future Of Work. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2020/05/06/covid-19-future-of-work-coronavirus/?sh=22c850b573b2

[5] Lund, Cheng, Dua, De Smet, Robinson, & Sanghvi, What 800 executives envision for the postpandemic workforce.


[6] Baker, M. (2020, June 8). 9 Future of Work Trends Post-COVID-19. Gartner https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/9-future-of-work-trends-post-covid-19/

[7] The Post-Pandemic Rules of Talent Management. (2020, October 13). Harvard Business Review, from https://hbr.org/2020/10/the-post-pandemic-rules-of-talent-management