May 7, 2012
The Office Of The Future
|The office a few years from now will in most ways physically resembles the office of today. People will still sit at desks and meet in conference rooms and get food from the cafeteria. There will be some new gadgets: more tablet computers, for example, and 3D printers capable of spot-manufacturing small three-dimensional objects. The big changes to the way we work will be in the gadgets - they will be as powerful as mainframes, allowing workers to do heavy computing work, like product design, on the go. Tiny sensors will monitor your movements and, based on the departments you visit, recommend potential co-workers to meet and work with.|
Most futurists predict the demise of a central office, replaced by telecommuters and contractors working from satellite locations around the world. The fast-paced global nature of business is going to call for more collaboration and face-to-face teamwork.
Many companies are now working to define the systems, technology and processes for effective remote collaboration. These tools will not necessarily change work in the future, but it will change how work gets done.
More "work product" will be recorded and stored; teleconferences will be instantly transcribed and the text saved, for example. Privacy experts say companies will have to give employees full control over their privacy. For instance, workers will need to grant permission to be recorded in a videoconference, for example, and they should be able to maintain their online computer through customized settings.
For many, this world sounds ominous, but for the generations that embrace Facebook, Foursquare, and Spotify, the future will be business as usual.
The trend of fewer and fewer (human) workers producing more and more may reach the point where the work of a tiny fraction of us can produce all of the goods and services required by the population as a whole. When that happens we will either be forced to reevaluate our basic assumptions regarding the traditional distribution of wealth. As Peter Diamandis suggests, we will have the potential for Abundance.
Teleprescence will also extend to robot avatars roaming offices with users being globally remote.
Moreover, as many would attest, the advent of mobile technology and telepresence systems has not led to better work-life balance for most workers.
For the past 100 years business leaders have been trained to manage teams that are similar intellectually but widely disparate psychologically -- a group of engineers, say, whose members might be disciplined, introverted, anxious, cooperative, or any of a million combinations. That structure worked fine when business models lasted decades.
In tomorrow's world the leader's job will be reversed. As companies revamp business models continually, the only teams that can do the job fast enough will have members who are highly diverse intellectually; the engineers, marketers, and designers will meet in the same room.
As Peter Drucker described, The modern organization should be the destabilizer, the building design, the team, the project would all become more dynamic, real-time, to balance change and continuity.
SOURCE CNN Money
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