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The Workplace of the Future: Connected, Collaborative, Creative

The Internet of Everything is reshaping every aspect of our lives—including how and where we work. Think back to the 1950s, when the telephone was the only connected device in the typical office, and collaboration happened only when coworkers physically walked to a conference room for a face-to-face meeting.

Today, we take for granted an ever-expanding collection of connected devices and collaboration tools that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago—smartphones, tablets, ”smart” white boards, online meetings, web video conferencing,  online document sharing, TelePresence, social media—all helping us change the ways we communicate, collaborate, and share.

With the amount of new technical information in the world doubling every two years, the future holds the promise of even greater, faster change. Google Glass is just the beginning of a whole new category of wearable technology that will enable even tighter integration of technology with work and life.

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Work and Learning in a Digital World

Across the globe, business, government, and social structures are buffeted by sweeping generational change, technological innovation, and the emergence of new economic development models.

Although these forces differ by geography, they provide opportunities for social innovation, community engagement, economic growth, sustainability, and country transformation.

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Work-Life Innovation: Impact on the Individual

Networked technologies have made work and learning increasingly mobile and highly flexible. So much so that employees are now choosing work-location flexibility over a higher salary and employers are providing workers with the tools to facilitate this. Cisco IBSG calls this “Smart Work.” Of course, the ability to make flexible working a viable option depends on a number of factors, including availability of good broadband connectivity, employer trust, the nature of the work in which an employee is engaged, and suitable social software and video technologies that enable the employee to remain in a connected (albeit virtual) work environment.

Employees, too, have to develop a new form of self-discipline that involves maintaining a good work-life balance; rather than working longer hours, this entails spending much of their extra time with family, in the community, or furthering their own personal and professional development. Read More »

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The Future of Work-Life Innovation: The Role of Networked Technologies

A number of forces are changing how we work, live, and innovate: pervasive technologies, distributed ways of working, “space rather than place” as a work ethos, new methods and modes of work, access to shared services, open versus closed innovation, a new generation of workers, environmental concerns, and macro socioeconomic shifts.

Given a choice, people will demand freedom to work, live, and innovate in ways that meet their individual lifestyles, unfettered by place. Meanwhile, pressures to reduce costs and seek new approaches to innovation are causing many private and public organizations to rethink how work gets done. Read More »

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Happy Labor Day

Like many Americans, I am enjoying the 3-day holiday weekend.  I’m taking advantage of Labor Day promotional sales, watching college football games, and relaxing with family and good food on the BBQ.   

On this Labor Day, jobs are critically important to government leaders at all levels:

  • National government with President Obama’s Jobs Council Listening and Action sessions in Portland and Dallas in advance speech coming later this week 
  • State goverment such as in California where the jobless rate is currently at 12% 
  • City and local governments, mayors unveil jobs plan

Reflecting on the history of Labor Day, I wonder what our working world will be like in the future compared to the past.  LIFE has captured images “In Praise of American the Worker“  that captures the spirit of hardwork. 

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