I did an insight piece on the “Future of Work” while working with ad agency JWT on their Microsoft 365 business — it was a blast. At the time, who other than some epidemiologists would have predicted COVID 19 and its rampage across the globe. Covid changed everything. Two key outcomes for the working world were less meetings and working from home. The cry for less meetings is not new but has certainly grown thanks to Covid. The work from home phenomenon, however is new and here to stay. Ish.
If you combine these two workplace developments the result is a lot of individual work product. And for me, that’s a bad trend. Most people work best with fellow employees. As sounding boards. Lunch partners. Idea generators. Creative recombinators as Faris Yakob would say.
The future of work is not isolation. Hell yeah we can do it. And it might even make us more self-reliant and resourceful short term. But working like pod people is not good for anyone. We are a gregarious species. Whistling while you work is no substitute for communicating while you work. I get the head-down thing, I do. But we all need to come up for air frequently. It’s healthy and it’s productive.