The current issue of Time includes a special report on The Future of Work that outlines ten fundamental ways the workplace of the future will be vastly different than it is today. While not discussed, I couldn’t help but see the important role video and telepresence will play in this new work place. This technology will have an even greater impact than it does today, fostering a more flexible, collaborative environment for employees, while reducing costs and providing greater access to experts worldwide.
One of the key management skills of the future is “collaborative decision-making that might involve team members scattered around the world from Beijing to Barcelona to Boston, whom the leader of a project may have never met in person.” While they may have never met “in person,” that is not to say that they would not recognize each other on the street. Moreover, as technology develops, the need to “actually show up at an office …is just going to fade away.” However, the need for face-to-face communication will remain. As the world becomes flatter, and expertise is distributed globally, video will be the catalyst that will bring people together to make the critical decisions that drive business. You might say it will even enable the future workplace.