future of work

    Insight 5, The Future of Work, Circa 2011.


    (Number 5 in a series. Click here to read initial post.)

    Work ergonomically.      

    Less key strokes. Need a .com button on the keyboard. Better email (Facebook found some inefficiencies.) The masses seek order. Stand to the right on the escalator in highly trafficked parts of NYC. It’s a Fast Twitch World. Biggest news breaks on Twitter. MSFT works the way you work.

    Implication for FOW: Usability, arguably a MSFT weakness, can be made into a positive thanks to real demonstrations, e.g., One Note, Printing from the cloud, Windows 7 Mobile Hubs vs. Apps.)

    Most of this still holds up. There is a .com button on my mobile now. We are finding keystrokes replaced by voice commands. Slack, as an online business tool, has advanced ergonomics though it still hasn’t penetrated the way it should (and will). That said, Microsoft reported daily use of Teams has reached 44M, the spike for which can be partially attributed to the corona virus.

    There are very few workers who want to work with more friction. Water runs downhill. As was noted in the first post on the Future of Work, consumer apps have outpaced business apps when it comes to innovation; businesses still have a way to go to improve the ergonomics of work. There has been some incremental positive change, but not enough.



    Future of Work Part 4.


    Today’s installment of the Future of Work, penned in 2011 looks at the

    “Logged and tagged” workplace.

    • Businesses have required information to be logged and tagged. (Salesforce.com)
    • Localized to centralized. Knowledge worker to log-in ID.
    • Cloud computing, (and private cloud), interoperability and improved usability allow “better access for all.”
    • Culture and fealty diminished.  

    “If you want to go faster and you want a                                         system that is more reliable, you have to                                         be willing to spend less.”                                                                                                             Larry Ellison, Oracle, 9/10

    Implication for FOW: We can provide anytime, anywhere access and achievement – MSFT should reinforce the muscle memory it owns around productivity. Become the top-of-mind facilitator for this, but with a communal heart.

    The so-called gig economy resulted from the logged and tagged workplace. When this new, temporary, as-needed workforce was overlaid with GPS, it opened up the market for Uber and other interesting economy-altering businesses.

    The implication of this insight was to turn a negative (on-demand worker lemmings) into a positive (communal businesses of fluid workforces), the benefits of which are lower cost, higher productivity and perhaps a pinch of creativity.

    I’ve always like the insight, but think companies did not foresee some mental health implications among participants due to loss of control. Software like Slack and Teams has helped. And MSTF’s Teams is ripping right now.





    Future of Work Part 3.


    Today we look at the third insight developed in 2011 for a JWT/Microsoft project to see how it weathered after all these years. Insight number 3:

    For many work bleeds into play and vice versa.

    • Gaming in marketing growing.
    • “Always On” blurs the lines.
    • Who pays the phone bill? Who owns the laptop?
    • Should be a backlash at some point (a fight against always on).
    • The recession has conditioned employees to work harder.

    Implication for FOW: By providing helpful, meaningful ways to support the work/life phenomenon, MSFT should help users in do both.

    It seems to me, with the exception of gaming becoming more a part pf marketing, these all held up. Everyone is different and not every job is as strategic as the next, but always being on and having a mobile phone to record in real time your work improvement observations allows those to think about work when they are not at work. Just as making a parenting observation at work won’t keep you from taking that home.

    Though gaming didn’t overly impact marketing, Virtual Reality will. Especially in a post-Corona Virus world. Which, by the way, has created a recession. Which will condition employees to work harder.

    Insight 3 was a handmaiden to yesterday’s about mobile changing everything. Businesses that enable work to integrate comfortably into life, will earn some serious revenue points. And right now, I’d say that will be a win for hardware companies more so than for software and service companies. I’m guessing devices will morph toward more talking and less typing – virtual assistance stuff.