I saw a great tweet recently from Neil Usher …. Future workplace posts are like watching Wimbledon FC in the 80s- long punt upfield, run after it. (with apologies to non football fans and overseas readers!)
I agree with the sentiment, but there still seems to lots of interest from a broad spectrum of people in ‘The Future of Work’. It’s great looking back at those old TV programmes and seeing how accurate many were, but also to see how some of the fundamentals were missed. Look at this great video featuring Walter Cronkite
Whilst all the predictions have come true in one form or another, what was missed was simply the scale – nobody seemed to envisage that all this could fit into your bag or even your pocket. Although to be fair, this was a prediction for 2001 and not 2011. An observation was made by John Symes of AOS Studley in a recent event where I showed this video – everything is simply at the touch of a button, and yet this is still not true for much of today’s technology.
Any good company will be looking towards the future, trying to understand what major trends will affect their business – whether they are economic, social, political or technological. However, getting your predictions wrong 20 years ahead matters much less than if you’ve got them wrong for only 5 years ahead. It’s those long term predictions to me that are ‘like watching Wimbledon FC in the 80s’ . The trends and predictions that matter most in today’s current business climate are those in the near future. Workplace is no different – which is why we are seeing companies turning to the services of workplace consultants and interior designers to understand not only their current needs, but how the workplace will cope with those inevitable changes ahead.