I’m confronted with the dispiriting facts that (a) my local council choice form counts for very little, and (b) schools, great as they are, never fully prepare you for your life ahead anyway.
Yet how could they? The stuff I get paid to do these days hadn’t been invented when I was at school. And before @phillcoleman gets all ‘That was “Fire” and “The Wheel”, Al’, I’m talking about the PC, mobile, and this t’interweb thing I am typing on. I rather hope to get big girl a school like the fantastic one I went to, that taught you ‘stuff’, but also tried to teach you how to learn, and experiment, and have some confidence.
And that led me to thinking about this blog’s title: ‘the Future of Work’. What actually will be the future of work for my big girl?
It’s unlikely to be manufacturing if she remains in the UK. And a good deal of our services sector has had the wind knocked out of its sails as well. Profitable banks? Anyone remember those?
Looking at her primary school education to date, Eco issues are set to become hugely important to this particular generation of millenials. Whilst it has been news to this Gen-X’er that we are trashing the planet quicker than it can sustain being trashed, big girl has been practically brought up with that message.
Obligatory plug for Yuuguu ‘Were already doing our bit to cut travel’ aside, I wonder if this generation will be the one to finally reach that tipping point as described so well by Mr Gladwell. That, ok, so we never used to do remote working all that much, because … well, we never had, but now there are some more pressing matters at hand.
- Would I do my old commute to work 8 miles to Manchester town centre each way, each day if petrol cost 25 pounds a litre?
- Would I park my car in the City Centre if the projected 9 billion worldwide populous had made city centre real estate so scarce and expensive that parking contracts were five figures a year?
Using remote tools like screen sharing, telephone conferencing and instant messages is certainly a way of reducing the carbon footprint of transporting people in metal boxes. It cuts it to that of making the electricity needed to power the computers and internet. And things might well get more interesting here in big girl’s working life; I will not be surprised to see much more creative, local solutions to generating small amounts of electricity -just enough to power a mobile internet browser on a phone, or a notebook. Potentially, this could be done by completely clean sources, depending on local conditions: solar, wind, water, thermal.
The development of a measurably greener alternative to business travel might just be the push needed to drag remote working fully into the mainstream.
What do you think?