“For decades, the notion of going to work meant a person being assigned a little space inside of a large building in some pre-determined location”
Since the arrival of terms such as virtual desktops, VPN, remote access, Virtualisation, smartphones, tablets etc. into the workplace, technology has provided workers the freedom to choose when, where and how to work.
Well, it appears the ‘green revolution’ has a lot to thank for technological advances in the last decade. Apparently, owning smartphones or laptops and having the ability to access your workspace from anywhere has drastically reduced carbon emissions derived from daily commuters (can’t say that it’s had any effect on traffic though).
Interestingly, it was the stereotypically lazy gamers that helped to usher in this new era of work space. I know this sounds ridiculous, but negotiating some dark cave with a band of merry men in some alternate online life relies heavily on many skills required in the workplace.
Management of time, resources, skill sets, and not to mention communication all play pivotal roles in conquering online team gaming. Eventually, companies started to mirror this in the workplace providing employees with much easier ways to communicate and access company IT resources from the comfort of their own home. Companies like Facebook and Google are notorious for encouraging fun in the workspace to reduce stress and increase productivity through highly motivated workers.
The immersive nature of these workspaces, which is one of their most notable characteristics separates them from past generations, and is all achieved via a new generation of connective technologies.
The Future’s Bright
Whereas “mobile phones in bags” and laptops being dragged around in “roller bags” were once considered mobile work technologies, mobile work tools in 2032 will likely constitute an array of interconnected, wearable devices that provide instant access to people and information required to be productive.
When a worker enters a workspace and docks himself or herself in a chair, their ‘wearables’ easily connect with the technologies resident within the workplace and worn by others, transporting them to either an interactive or private virtual space.
Technologies such as holographs (see Star Wars), virtual reality and even augmented reality glasses/contact lenses will play an important role, allowing people through hand gestures to bring up documents, graphs, slideshows or videos. At the same time, streaming translation services allow for someone speaking a different language to be instantly heard in one’s native tongue.
How does this sit with you? Would you like this? Or do you feel generations will become lost in their ‘virtual office worlds’? I personally see many a broken marriages due to virtual secretaries….