Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Future of the Office

In a recent article with the same title, futurist Glen Hiemstra argues that in the next ten years, offices will not change significantly. He goes on to say that most likely, offices will become far more internally mobile as workers continue to shift from desktop computers to laptops and tablets. 

I do not entirely disagree. I think Hiemstra is committing a common error of most futurists which is known as Today But Moreso. In short, predictions typically will look identical to the current environment, but will exaggerate one element to make it appear futuristic. In his case, he's adding more mobility within the office. 

As I said, I don't disagree. This will happen, because it is already happening. More and more of my customers are abandoning traditional desktop computers in favor of mobile computing platforms for their personnel. This shift has enabled greater mobility within the work space, as employees gather in ad hoc working groups which regularly adapt to needs of the moment. Cross functional teams, once a hard fought goal of forward thinking corporate managers, have become commonplace as personnel find the resources to solve the problems with minimal management interference. 

Where Hiemstra falls short is his failure to include a variety of technologies which will begin to impact the corporate enterprise within the next few years, by which I mean robotics, machine learning, and all the rest of those automatons that will change how we work and live. How will simple, cheap delivery bots change the office environment? How will AI enhance the power of cross functional teams? 

Those are the questions a futurist should examine. Luckily, I am not a futurist so I just get to pose the questions, without giving answers. Well, at least not giving them away for free online. 

To learn more about how the future will impact your business, contact me today. 









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