What we think the workplace will be like in 50 years.
If we consider how the work place has changed since 1966, 50 years ago, when the internet didn’t exist and many people were forced to work from as young as the age as 12, it’s hard to imagine what it will be like 50 years from now.
The way we work has changed quite dramatically over the last 50 years. From approx. 1965-1995, the way we worked was through routine processes. Individual tasks were carried out and a lot of work was done alone. Work was always done somewhere, in a physical place. Working areas were central and specific, designated areas. Transport was necessary for every working day for many, and the office was the only space, it was impossible for the majority to have the occasional option of working from home. There would have been one desk per person, as well as hierarchical space standards set. 9-5 at one place was the most common and accepted way of working.
Nowadays, work more often than not requires creativity as well as knowledge. Schools, colleges, jobs and careers are more focused on working in groups, teams and projects. The workplace is more interactive now. Work isn’t a place you go to and then leave at the day anymore. In this day and age it has become something the world considers should be a part of you, in my eyes. Networks usually stop the employee from being able to disconnect from work. In another way, it may give the employee the option to manage their time in a way which suits them. The workplace is also more dispersed now, for example, important areas of work may not necessarily be located around a city. Transport is still very important, however communications have undoubtedly lessened its importance. Diverse task-based spaces are more available today too.
These working habits have been evolving for a substantial amount of time now and they will continue to do so.
I believe buildings will be more intelligent, they will be made up of smart technologies. A great possibility of sensors being used for our own benefit such as for adjustment of climate controls of individual employees when needed (but I can imagine this leading to obvious problems too). As well as this, we will have technology extensions to us too, such as equipment which will allow us to see and hear things in a higher definition.
Cloud technologies will enable different information systems to communicate and work together. The cloud represents another decade defining the shift of evolution similar in the way that businesses were affected before by the PC and internet. Towards 2020, cloud technologies will break down barriers within organizations.
This will give rise to new business models and ways of managing IT that are more flexible. And mobile. Companies are especially attracted by cloud computing’s ability to:
Provide companies with better management over their data
Allow access to information anytime, anywhere, from whichever device suits
Improve efficiency by removing power costs
Enabling greater interoperability
With the advances in technology over the past few years there is so much that will change in working life over the next few decades. Robots taking over, majority of people working from their own houses, hover boards? Who knows, they are all real possibilities.
Humans being replaced by artificial intelligence.
First we are going to consider the possibility of Artificial intelligence replacing humans in certain jobs. It is very likely a lot of jobs will soon be taken over by robots and computers. “Manual-labor jobs appear to be most at risk, while jobs that require empathy, like social workers and caretakers, are least at risk.” (Stanger, 2016) We can already see this begining to happen now, with Amazon using drones to deliver products, being able to order and pay in McDonalds using a machine and being able to do your shopping online and have it delivered to your house, all of these are eliminating the need for humans in the workplace. Some futurists even predict in 30 years time robots will take over most jobs!
More companies could dissolve traditional offices and headquarters.
Now with a lot of jobs revolving around online work and computers there may not be a need for traditional offices. Coworking spaces are becoming popular among freelancers and also among corporations which can relocate employees. In fact the company Buffer announced last year it was closing down its offices and now employees work from home, coffee shops and coworking spaces. “Now they survive by facilitating instant meetings, messages, and face-to-face conversations regardless of employees’ locations.” (Stanger, 2016)
Employers could start recruiting people form all over the world.
Instead of having to hire full time employee’s and pay a full wage employer’s could start to employ freelance workers for once of jobs. This also frees the employer from having to offer benefits like health care, holidays etc. They can also choose from a whole range of people willing to to do the job at different rates. Also, with the evolution of online working many people are now finding it easier to work for themselves. People can set up online shops on sites such as etsy or eBay, they can offer voice over jobs on Fiverr.com the list goes on and on.
Possible human “revival”?
Recently, an American biotech company received ethical permission to attempt bring the clinically dead back to life, testing whether parts of the brain can be revived once a patient is declared deceased. 20 trial participants that are certified dead and only kept alive by life support will be monitored via brain imaging equipment to search for possible signs of regeneration and try to kickstart vital body functions such as breathing and heartbeats- something these patients can only do with the help of machines. If successful, this will be the first step to the eventual reversal of death. While good news initially, this will have a domino effect on society; if more people are able to escape death, a population boom is not unlikely, and therefore more of these people would naturally try to keep their jobs/look for jobs. However, if like in the previous statement regarding Artificial Intelligence were to replace humans in the work force, many individuals may be unemployed. Would foregoing with this experiment be a benefit, or would it disturb the natural order of life and death?
Given the way things are headed it is likely humans and robots will have to learn to work together. This could have profound effects on the efficiency of work and the decrease of human error in the workplace. Other advantages of having humans and robots working in harmony are “boosting productivity, improving workplace safety and creating a more intelligent working environment with the help of Big Data analytics”(Lawton, 2015)
The creation of new jobs could be another advantage of the changing workplace, new jobs like teaching robots skills they need, maintaining artificial intelligence, controlling drones which are delivering packages etc.
The reversal of death means that less people will suffer from losses of loved ones, and the person with previously endangered life will also be able to continue with their life and goals.
Changes in our working environment can have a profound impact on the level of efficiency and output of workers, along with their health and wellbeing. If more people are working from home rather than in an office or other workplace this could lead to more people feeling lonely, leading to other mental health issues such as depression.
The rise of robots could lead to unemployment. Although, there will be creation of new jobs there may not be enough new jobs to replace all of the jobs that will be lost due to artificial intelligence replacing humans. As robots would be more efficient and inevitably cost less then hiring a human to do the job it is likely most manual working jobs will be done by robots.
Robots are also still computers, the difference being its mobility, appearance and responses. Perhaps robots will go as far as to look so shockingly similar to humans, that one would not be able to tell which is which. Also, as robots are still computers, the possibility of viruses and hacking will still be present as an issue. What if, were one to get a hand of a certain robot/robots and program it/them to comply to commands other than their original tasks? Robots or artificial intelligence can be used for the efficiency of work, however they also pose a risk as being used as weapons.
Questions this leads us to ask.
Will robots have human rights in the future?
Someday will all jobs be taken over by robots?
What will the purpose of human life be if there are no jobs?
Will there be rise in mental health issues due to lack of jobs/ lack of human contact for people working from home?
Will the advances in technology and ease of access into getting things done for you fuel the already slowly rising issue of weight problems such as obesity?
(Stanger, 2016) http://uk.businessinsider.com/ways-the-workplace-will-look-different-in-the-future-2016-1?r=US HYPERLINK “http://uk.businessinsider.com/ways-the-workplace-will-look-different-in-the-future-2016-1?r=US&IR=T”& HYPERLINK “http://uk.businessinsider.com/ways-the-workplace-will-look-different-in-the-future-2016-1?r=US&IR=T”IR=T