Future of the Workplace due to Technology

One of my Sunday joys (or Saturdays, depending on which day I have free) is filtering through my RSS feeds. It’s quite like reading a newspaper, until I realised the importance of “what is the future going to be like” with the Internets and technology changing everybody’s lives? Here are a couple random thoughts that spewed out. Anybody who takes a look at this and says `too long, didn’t read` just emphasizes my point.

The Gen-Y Workplace

For people who don’t quite know what’s going on, apparently (in a really dumbed down nutshell) Gen-Y is the cool new word to identify people brought up in the world of technology – which is pretty much the whole of the current generation. These folks are armed with social networking systems, instant messaging, live video streams, podcasts and Wikipedia on their cell.

Apparently these guys will make our previous systems obsolete and bring about new ideas to the workforce, ZDNet puts these out as:

Don’t supervise.

The new way people communicate with each other is not through tight control and personal interest but through the likes of a social network such as Facebook or Twitter. They’re saying only through building a forever communicating community will an environment be created that these Gen-Y people can work in. Yes, I see the effects already: `how r u?` `nm, u?`. Face it – no wait, Facebook – we have the most utterly boring status updates in the world. `I am eating a delicious sandwich.` `I am reading a book and it’s giving me a seizure.`. Yes. Sure. We’re all meant to let them roam free and expect them to behave.

Instead of critiquing the rest of the `new ideas`, I’ll let you think for yourself, Don’t Train. Don’t Retain. Don’t ban potential security issues. Don’t recruit. Tell you what, here’s the original article.

Another side effect is that email will give way to instant messaging, laptops will give way to mobile devices, and so on. Call me traditional, but all these new age people who think they’re so intelligent with their fancy ways of doing things know relatively nothing to the old-timers giving their lectures the good old way it’s always been done and should be done.

Let’s take education for an example – there’s this thing called a SmartBoard which is basically a board that your computer screen is projected on, and you can use the board to interact with the computer. Of course, it allows you to have lots of fancy coloured pens, change your pen brush to smiley faces, and best of all, give you an excuse to show some cheap presentation you downloaded off the internet. What do they do then? These new-age teachers flick through each slide, repeating what’s already on there in slightly different words then ask you to copy it down. If you ask them a question, they say `All you need to know is on the powerpoint`. If you argue and say it isn’t, they say `Google it up.`

Long story short, these people don’t know zilch. Give me back traditional workflows and proper hierachies of command. Hell – GIVE ME BACK THE CANE. Studies show that all this exposure to digital media develops ADD (wait, you say, what’s ADD? Let me Google it up. See, you filthy people) and can cause neurological brain disorders. It’s also been proven that our exposure has weakened our knowledge-absorbing and investigation techniques. In other words, in terms of finding relevant information, the Internet will be a much more beneficial tool for adults, not us. I know some people are even too lazy to read this article. We want things spoonfed to us. Read a manual? No – just Google a tutorial or ask for instant online help. Please, I beg of you! Use your brain once in a while!

Note: any decently intelligent person would realise I never properly discussed the topic. Here’s a question for you: what do you think will become of the industries that fall victim to the hopelessly terrible way of life Gen-Y is used to? (This is because the effects are very industry specific- some industries will maintain traditional approaches)

Dion Moult

I've been developing software for well over 10 years, work as an architect (not the computer kind, the regular sort), and am classically trained as a pianist. I try to do the right thing when I get the chance in my field, such as through contributing to open-source communities and promoting sustainable living.

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  1. “These folks are armed with social networking systems, instant messaging, live video streams, podcasts and Wikipedia on their cell” = so lol, and so true =D

    I think you’re right. We’ve dug our own grave. Maybe the finanical crisis will remind us that we can’t rely on our gadgets and technical tools all the time. We’re getting too lazy and eventually the development will turn on us.

    …But until then I’m gonna chat, watch movies, play online games, listen to music, use my cellphone mohahaha

    d o u b l e s t a n d a r d s o f m o r a l i t y . . .

  2. Strangely, the actual point of this article was highlighting not how dependant we are on technology, but rather how technology has changed the way we see things. Due to technology, traditional approaches are no longer suitable for us – the way we manage things have changed. The question is: “Is this change for the better or for the worse?”. Most of the older generation would say for the worse – it’s quite natural for them to think that their methods are better, but personally when I take a step back I see the element of wisdom to their words. It _is_ to the worse. What are workforces going to be like in the future? What sort of “freedom” is this that we want? Given enough intelligent and emotional maturity this might not be so bad, but either it’s just me, or I don’t see this maturity.

  3. You’re mad. Honestly, blissfully mad.

    Besides, it’s not that technology has replaced old ways of doing things, merely that it has allowed the future generations more choice over what they do and how they do it. One can still use both methods in conjunction with one another.

  4. Quoting myself again:
    “Strangely, the actual point of this article was highlighting not how dependant we are on technology, but rather how technology has changed the way we see things.”

    The question is not whether we have a big rock and a pile of leaves or a supercomputer, but instead how has our mentality changed due to this new “technologically-shaped” environment around us.

    Mad, am I? Muahahahahahahaha!

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