FutureWork14: Introducing the concepts

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My aim with this post is to begin a series of posts to debunk some of the marketing myths about work and workplace technology.

Working with information and bringing various bits of information together, thinking about it, collaborating with it, then creating something is what makes many of us tick.  If I phase that in my simple mind it is:

  • Gathering
  • Thinking
  • Collaborating
  • Creating

Each phase has its own characteristics and best lends itself to different locations, different spaces within locations and different devices when in those spaces.  Flexibility and mobility is an absolute necessity for knowledge work, both in terms of time and location.  I sit here now having woken early, spend some time reading on a tablet on a sofa before now locating on a table with a laptop to write this.  Todays work is all about efficient flow.

  • Efficient Information flow
  • Efficient Location flow
  • Efficient Device flow

But beyond efficient flow we need our time to be productive.  Productivity is really a race not just for enterprises but for each of us as knowledge workers.  The trouble with time is we get no younger, no faster, no more brain cells, but we do get more efficient in our use of time, better at leveraging networks and gain more knowledge assets.  We certainly need to be a journey to improve productivity as not only do we have a global workforce eager to take our jobs snapping at our heels we also have the things we type into becoming smart enough to automate many jobs and begin to learn:

47% of all current U.S. jobs are at risk over the next two decades because they consist primarily of tasks that can be automated in that time period.

Source: Tom Austin

I for one am looking forward to a level of automation and the introduction of personal digital assistants (see previous posts 1 2).  To revert to the location point the competition for the roles specialist perform is global in nature, and increasingly knowledge workers need to find a specialist niche.

So the point of the post and coming back to the title.  We as a workforce in Europe and North America are not getting younger.  We all need systems to cope better with the aging workforce and also recognise that in many cases the younger workforce need help to become efficient workers and are not coming armed with the skills needed – that is anecdotal so I hope I can uncover some research in that area.

The second key point I wanted to get across was one of creativity.  A combination of place, space and device come to support us in creation.  A few months ago on a call I heard someone say “all I need to work is a coffee shop and a network connection”.  My heart sank that this person felt that they could do their most productive creative work with a small screen in a space designed to sell food and drink.  During this series I will try to debunk the myths on mobility, devices, place and space.  I hope you’ll join me and interact for which I’ll use the tag #futurework14.

 

Image attribution Creative Commons by “The Waving Cat”