Monday, 13 April 2009

Workplace of the Future

Watch the video and do the quiz, then read the script and look up the unknown words.


The virtual office. For better or worse, technology and globalization are creating startling changes in what it means to be "on the job". Betsy Stark is tracking the new order of business and tonight begins our series, The Future of Work.

Imagine a work world with no commute, no corporate headquarters, maybe no office in the physical world at all.

For Bob Flavin, Janet Hoffman and Joseph Jaffe, the future is already here.

"These days we do so much stuff by teleconferences and things that it doesn't matter where you are.

Like 42 percent of IBM's 350,000 employees, Bob Flavin rarely comes in to an IBM office.

We don't care where and how you get your work done, we care that you get your work done.

On the day we met him, he was collaborating with computer scientists in British Columbia and Beijing from the on-call room of his local ambulance corps where he works as a volunteer.

The work force at the Accenture management consulting firm is so mobile, not even the CEO has an office with his name on the door.

If you need a work space, you reserve it like a hotel room — checking in and out at a kiosk.

Having a big desk as a sign of status with lots of family photos and you know, carpeting that's fluffy and nice, that is a vision of the past.

In the future, more companies with scattered work forces and clients may do what the Crayon marketing firm has done and make their headquarters in cyberspace.

Crayon's workers rarely meet in the physical world but their alter egos in the virtual world gather once a week.

I never met Crayon's CEO in person but we spent a couple of hours together in cyberspace.

Our belief is that if we bring like minds together no matter where they are in the world, we can actually create that connectedness as if we're actually at the same place at the same time.

If what matters is what you do not where you are, who needs an office?
Betsy Stark, ABC News, Crayonville in cyberspace.

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