The future of the workplace is one that is distributed. Teams will cooperate from around the globe, through realtime communication channels and by systems that enable them to get work done. Our task managers and project management software will be able to tell us who should be working on what and when, according to dependencies, timezones and who is best suited to each task. Every department will work like an engineering team, but with better, machine assisted guidance.
Imagine if companies operated like an Uber fleet. Combine that with the endless ride model they are chasing. There is no need for an office, or perhaps even a centralized company that you work for. Those who are skilled enough can be freelance or work for many projects. Contrarily, this may reduce our productivity, or the system will be assigned such menial or chunkable work that it is no longer interesting to do. Motivation will also need to be addressed. If we are able to pick and choose our work, we may opt for the highest return (or highest return / hour) instead of focusing on larger mission. Again, if the system is running properly, this may not be an issue.
Leaders and entrepreneurs could have such resources at their disposal. Someone will have to dictate how the system will run, or realistically what goods, products or services it provides. The globally distributed workforce will be able to handle the rest, dictated by the calendar, time management, work management system.
This is what I think about when we talk about machines talking over.1 They will do the things we struggle with well, over and over again. If we can leverage this type of system, we will be able to live more freely (meaning according to our own values, time commitments or location). When this happens, I’ll be on the beach somewhere.