With increasing technological advancement in communications the boundary between work and home is beginning to blur. Where will this take us over the next few decades?
The recent global recession has focused attention on employment and its nature. There is a trend, not only in unskilled but also in the professions, to work part time or flexibly for several different employers. Add to all this, the growing preference for individuals to work from home, some occasionally, others on a more regular basis, and we have the seeds of a fundamental change in the work-life balance.
Could it be that the term “Hunter Gatherer” could be applied to this phenomenon?
For millions of years man lived as hunter-gatherers. It has been argued that hunter-gatherer society was of far more benefit to the individual than that of their agricultural working successors.
Will these modern “Electronic Hunter Gatherers” have a similar advantage over the more proscribed working individual?
It is self-evident that the development of agriculture and animal husbandry gave us the seeds of our modern society. It gave rise to the many benefits and disadvantages of our world today. The management of crops for food, for barter, and for industry created larger more cohesive communities. Now our individual reach is truly global. Companies and commodities cross frontiers, boundaries and oceans. However, with an increase in quantity comes a downgrade in quality. The recent food scares in Europe have shown us this. So much so, that there could be a return to more local procurement.
Hunter gatherers by their very nature had to live in smaller communities. They were tighter knit societies. Will the new age hunter gatherers be similar but electronic, having small net-based but global “tribes”?
Tony Oliver – Senior Project Designer / Visualiser at Herman Miller
This was Tony’s first blog after attending Neil Usher’s session on blogging called ‘Write Here, Write Now’ held at the Herman Miller National Design Centre