10 ways work will change in 2016 - No, just one

Shared economy, freelancing, job automation, flatter structures, global teams, growing communities… There are hundreds of trends predicted for 2016.

However, there is one that stands out. Collaboration is the next big thing.

It's a trend that recently emerged across the majority of industries. Executives are urging for collaboration to occur within and between organizations. It may also come to your attention that the bulk of the trends being predicted stem from a more substantial focus on collaboration.

Why the sudden interest in working collaboratively?

As a civilization, we realized a long time ago that together, we can achieve more, easier. From the early days, we lived in tribes, dividing the hunting and gathering responsibilities. Later on, money was created to allow people to specialize in one trade, and then utilize the community around them to exchange food, clothing and other goods. Eventually, businesses also started partnering to achieve mutual objectives.

What has happened over the past 20 years or so since digital technology became such a big part of all our lives, was an increase in individualism and a drop in effective teamwork. It is not that we forgot how to work together, but rather, just have not yet found practical ways to utilize the rest of the population for our collective benefit as the world evolves. We just stopped evolving when it comes to collaborating.

So no, collaboration is by no means a new concept. But it needed a 2.0 version, if you will.

Collaboration v2 is collaboration for the 21st century. This means integrating collaboration into our virtual lives.

The trends associated with bringing collaboration back up to speed emerged because the world realized that we constantly need to evolve, and there are many ways we can inject collaboration back into our lives. Now, companies and individuals across the world are finding innovative new ways to collaborate in the digital age.

There is, however, one industry that was well ahead of the rest in 'resurrecting' collaboration. In fact, collaboration was the key ingredient in the creation of this industry. The whole concept of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games ,such as World of Warcraft or Maple Story, is based on virtual collaboration between individual players. By working together, individual characters are able to achieve more than they would be able to by themselves (1+1=3 concept).

Since the creation of multiplayer video games, the concept of gamification has started to be transposed into other industries, to increase user engagement and promote collaboration. Gamification leverages our longing for belonging, knowledge, competition, status and achievement.

2016 will be the year where collaboration is taken to a new level. Collaboration v2 will emerge, and change the way people work. It will be more than just effective virtual communication, faster information sharing, or more practical allocation of work across continents.

There will be more gamification, and new evolutions in the way we work together. The digital revolution of the 21st century has barely started, and now that we have realized the true potential of our technology, we can dive a lot deeper. It's time to explore the possibilities offered by the technology we created - they are endless, after all.