The recent release of the ‘Hiscox Home of the Future Report 2015’ – a look at how the home might change in the next ten years – got me thinking about ‘Professions of the future’. With our lifestyles changing so quickly, how will this impact the services we need and buy?
Centuries ago, anyone with any money at all had servants – even if only a scullery maid; paid in bed, board and the occasional clip round the ear. With two wars and the changes they brought to society, the number of servants reduced significantly. Even the downstairs denizens of Downton Abbey have started to double up their roles.
I think we are now seeing a reversal for those people who have limited time to spare but some disposable income. How many of us employ cleaners and window cleaners for example? We may outsource our ironing and the job of mowing the lawn. We pay people to take care of our children – be that nannies and au pairs, or music teachers, tutors and TumbleTots.
As well as taking care of your kids and household chores, more and more people are employing people to take care of their dogs while they are out at work, rather than leaving Fido home alone for up to 12 hours a day. The Daily Mail recently ran an article suggesting that dog-walkers can earn as much as £64k a year (external link) – that's nearly as much as an MP!
The big difference from years gone by of course is that, in many cases, people are employing trained, skilled professionals, who are anything but servants.
Outsource tasks large and small
Technology is also introducing new possibilities. We all live busy lives and cash-rich but time-poor individuals are starting to outsource tasks large and small to others. It started with concierge services such as www.quintessentially.com (external link) and www.bonvivant.co.uk (external link), which specialise in things such as getting tables in booked-up restaurants, or booking seats for sold-out shows for people who could afford not only their fee but also the premium price involved. This has become more mainstream with the advent of services such as www.taskrabbit.co.uk (external link) to which you can outsource errands and chores. From helping research schools for your kids, to helping you with your household accounts, they can take some of the pain out of administration you need to do – giving you back time to spend on the things that really matter.
As the Hiscox report outlines, it's less about owning ‘things’, and more about lifestyle quality and experiences. In many cases, the professions of the future are already here and helping many people cope with busy working and family lives. Somebody else walking the dog though? The Earl of Grantham would definitely not approve.