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The Work Day of the Future

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Charles Murray
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Re: Work moves to the home
Charles Murray   11/16/2012 5:39:21 PM
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Rob: Every time I see the massive traffic jams going to and from downtown Chicago, I wonder when the edict will come down to companies to have more of their employees work at home. It's an incredible waste of fuel.

Charles Murray
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Re: just short of interesting
Charles Murray   11/16/2012 5:49:13 PM
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Ann, I remember a factory where I worked while I was in college in the early 1970s. The management took it upon themselves to shorten the work week. They wanted to move from five eight-hour days to four ten-hour days. Fridays were supposed to be days off. After a short time, though, the work week turned back into five days. Monday through Thursday was ten hours and Friday turned into an eight-hour day, instead of a day off. Eventually, they ended up cutting some of the employees because they found that they didn't need as many people with everyone working a 48-hour week. Somehow, the grand ideas about the workplace of the future seldom turn out to be so grand.  

Dave Palmer
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Re: Work moves to the home
Dave Palmer   11/16/2012 6:10:48 PM
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@Charles Murray: ... or when companies will start providing more incentives to their employees to use public transportation.  When I lived in Chicago, I didn't own a car; there was no need.  Would you rather sit in traffic on the Dan Ryan, or breeze past on the Red Line? Even now that I live in Waukegan (40 miles north of Chicago), I still usually take public transportation when going into the city.  Not only is driving to and from downtown Chicago during rush hour an incredible waste of fuel, it's a waste of time. Chicago has excellent public transportation, something other cities should emulate.

Nancy Golden
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prediction on communication
Nancy Golden   11/16/2012 10:16:53 PM
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I predict that we will eventually rebel against the environment we have steadily been creating where we communicate through email even in the same building rather than walk across the hall - the workplace will become so socially inept in face to face conversations that it will reach a breaking point and we will have to return to actually speaking in person to each other...people will have to relearn body language which is said to be over 65% of communication. We will actual enjoy having real conversations and productivity will increase because there will be fewer misunderstandings...I can dream, can't I?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Work moves to the home
Rob Spiegel   11/17/2012 1:28:37 PM
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Yes it is a waste of fuel, Chuck. It's also lost production time. The average American commute is an hour per day. That's about 20 hours per month of lost time.

bobjengr
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WORK DAY
bobjengr   11/18/2012 5:52:49 PM
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Excellent article Lauren.  I look at how my work day has changed over the past 40 years and, of course, the greatest change by far has been the advent and usage of computer science.  I can now add to that the usage of "smart phones".  Here is a very brief list of what I feel our typical work day would look like in 20 or 30 years.

 1.) Due to significant mobility of PCs and communication devices, I feel there will be a "blending" of office and home.  No longer will be locked into strict facilities due to the necessity of communication.  The will mean a typical 40, 50 or 60 hour work week will morph into being on call 24 hours per day--if we agree to put up with that. Now, one exception will be support of manufacturing facilities.  Being on the factory floor is a definite necessity so engineers and engineering managers will still need to be available.

2.)  There will continue to be decreasing privacy.  The only remaining privacy relative to the work force will be the thought never spoken or written.

3.) Globalization will be a must for survival necessitating multiple facilities and engineering support for those facilities.  Everyone in the engineering profession--at a certain level, will need and use a passport.

4.) Devices to translate languages other than English will make understanding almost instantaneous between remote locations.  (This is coming faster than we think.)

5.) Everything will be in the "cloud-based" arena.

6.) Wireless will dominate all communication and IT devices including the factory floor.

OK--that's about it.  We are headed into a "Brave New World". 

 

Battar
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Re: WORK DAY
Battar   11/19/2012 9:28:26 AM
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Bobjengr, thats not the future, thats today.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: just short of interesting
Ann R. Thryft   11/19/2012 5:52:25 PM
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Chuck, I also remember that supposed trend--four 10-hour days a week--a bit later, during the 80s. That was another wave of the future that didn't happen, except in a few cases. In some places, everyone went back to normal after awhile, but I knew other people whose work week expanded from 40 to 50 hours. Seems like that happened to lots of jobs filled by exempt employees.

bobjengr
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Re: WORK DAY
bobjengr   11/20/2012 5:39:59 PM
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 The more you mention it--I think you are probably correct.  We see evidence of "creeping" technology in these areas.  I suppose the one that really concerns me most is the privacy issue.  Some months ago I decided to join Face Book to communicate with my granddaughters in Atlanta.  BAD IDEA.  I discovered quickly, there are just some things a grandfather does NOT need to know.  With that out of the way, my fall-back position was text messaging.  They will respond to a text message when a phone call won't get the job accomplished.   I am amazed at how social media has taken hold and seems to occupy  huge chunks of time--certainly wilth the teens and 20-somethings.  Blows my mind.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Re: just short of interesting
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   11/21/2012 6:15:55 PM
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Another thing that we didn't count on was the financial crunch of a sagging economy.  When money gets tight, all the best intentions for better work-environments get squashed.  Here's a true story of one  CFO of multi-national corporate giant who compared his total available work space in Square Feet of facility (measured in the millions, across several states) compared to the headcount of his technical staff.  His simple solution was to maximize SF to people; squeeze more people into common areas by reducing cubicle sizes down to 6'x7' and sell off the extra floor space saved.  He reasoned that relocating families across the country was economically prudent and he sold-off entire plants while consolidating workers.  This is a true story about an Electronics Giant you've all heard of, and the bottom line was not a happy one for them.

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