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The internet and mobile technology have brought about a great many developments like cloud computing, social media, video, email, mobile devices and apps along with greater connectivity through mobile networks, wireless and blue-tooth. These innovations have combined to change the landscape for work and play.

But technology does not stay still

Technology like this enables work to be undertaken in more places, on more and smaller devices and with more people. Indeed, we can work anywhere there is a connection, which itself is expanding all the time: outside of a main office, it tends to be coffee shops, co-working and touch-down spaces, meeting rooms, home, trains, hotels, client premises, satellite offices, etc. In turn, this has created the always-on culture of the millennial generation who blur the boundary between work and social activity.

Whole industries are growing up around these changes, providing touch-down work space, virtual desktop and telecoms services, software and applications that mean each worker can carry their office around with them, wherever they go.

According to Gratton, (2011, p78) we could easily see a future where a surgeon, for example, works entirely at home: via email and cloud software (which he accesses and pays for hourly); an electronic virtual assistant managing his workload, diary, sending him to sleep and waking him up, etc; video conferencing for meetings and pre-surgery planning anywhere in the world and then carrying out the actual operation remotely using robots. Of course, this vignette does not ignore the fact that, individually, all of this is already possible and has already been done.


Lynda Gratton, 2011. The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here. First Edition. Harper Collins Business.