TCOLab Journal #13: New World of Work

Each month, TCOLab publishes The Journal, a newsletter tracking the shifts and drivers impacting culture. Culture is always fast-paced and ever-evolving but in these times of radical change and upheaval, it’s moving at extraordinary speed. At TCOLab, our mission remains the same throughout the crisis and beyond – to help brands adapt to this changing future/futures.

If you’d like to subscribe for the next issues you can click here, and if you’re a brand or business interested in learning more about the Lab and understanding how we can work collaboratively, email:

TCOLab Journal 13: New World of Work

Welcome to Issue 13 of The Journal from TCOLab, exploring global shifts, trends and wave-makers shaping and defining emerging culture.

Over the past year, the global pandemic has upended our working lives. It has required many to pivot to online remote working, some to take on home-schooling, others to wrestle with feelings of social isolation – while millions have faced job loss.

Covid has shed new light on the stark inequalities that exist in our society and the barriers for economic opportunity. Many have continued to risk their own and their families' health in service and frontline jobs. Meanwhile, Gen Z is reported to be more affected by unemployment or income loss than any other age group. According to recent research by JWT, many young people will value "security" and "service to society" when it comes to the future jobs and work opportunities they pursue. For more on this, read our think piece Gen Z: The Lost Generation?

The Pattern by Play Nice

On Our Radar

The Pattern by Play Nice is an incubator programme for underrepresented creatives in London, offering education and employment opportunities.

We love this new animated series by Mailchimp, revealing the ups and downs, and sometimes painful truths, of modern working life.

The 100-Year Life book draws on psychology and economics to propose new ways of thinking about education, careers and relationships, for a fulfilling life.

Virgil Abloh has shared over 40GB of working files from Nike x Off-White collaborations on an interactive website called Public Domain.

The CHANI app is a personalised guide and journalling tool, combining mindfulness and astrology to support self-discovery, growth and wellbeing.

Follow This

Launched during the first lockdown in 2020, but still a favourite of ours, WindowSwap lets you experience beautiful vistas around the world from the comfort of your own home.

As well as feeding wanderlust desires (especially while travel is restricted), the videos, submitted by strangers and well-known artists and musicians, are an incredibly relaxing watch.

The average UK adult looks at a screen within 20 minutes of waking up each day and it is estimated will spend the equivalent of 34 years of their lives staring at screens.

2020 survey – commissioned by Vision Direct

The Long Reads

In a piece for The Guardian, Amanda Holpuch investigates how the "shecession" – the economic fallout of the crisis where job and income losses are affecting women more than men – is causing long-term harm for women.

Writer Derek Thompson explores the modern phenomenon of the "Sunday Scaries" – the anticipatory anxiety many people feel ahead of the work week – and what can hunter-gatherer societies teach us about work, leisure and happiness, in How Civilization Broke our Brains for The Atlantic.

What’s On(line) in November

  1. 1Commune presents a digital screening of Sisters With Transistors: the story of the female composers who transformed how we produce and listen to music today – Feb 25th.
  2. Digital series Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy questions how we might collectively (re)engage with ourselves, one another, and the planet in this time of crisis.
  3. The Mars: The Red Mirror exhibition at CCCB in Barcelona explores our fascination with the Red Planet and coincides with three space missions to it this year – until July.

For some young people, work is not only a financial support but a path to personal fulfilment and satisfaction. Although ‘playing’ the job market may appear self-serving, entitled and greedy, it is, in most cases, merely a result of the environment(s) that they were raised. Ultimately, Millennials and Gen Z adults’ workplace habits are merely adaptions to the modern world.

Lee Chambers
featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, Dec 2020
Back to blog
Get in touch
Sign up to our newsletter