The value of meeting up: the changing nature of work

Moveable Type

Just as Gutenberg’s moveable type changed the ways we think, so too socially collaborative technology will change the ways we work

Last night gave the chance for a quiet drink with my brother in the Anchor pub. We’re on holiday together, with the family, but this was the first opportunity to catch up alone. The subject turned to the ways we work: both of us have jobs that take us around the world and working with people in different countries on a day to day basis, but both of us also value the chances to meet face to face.

For both of us, technology has revolutionised the ways we work: James is a radio producer and used to work purely in a studio, but today works from a laptop, wherever he is perched. He collaborates through shared files and sites and uses Skype and Google Hangouts to meet ‘face to face‘.

As the nature of work changes, the office is dead: it’s a space that used to provide us with infrastructure and technology, but now the technology sits in our pockets, and our networks travel with us. This is not some transient shift that giants like HP or Yahoo can stifle by restricting ‘working from home‘, it’s a fundamental shift in the ways we interact with data, with knowledge, with people. It’s the Social Age, where collaborative technology is bringing us together and letting us share meaning, globally. Instead of trying to restrict and constrain this, organisations should be creating areas to experiment in, finding and promoting new ways for us to collaborate and work.

I’m reading a great book this week, ‘From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: what you really need to know about the internet‘, by John Naughton. He charts much of this change and the underlying shifts in how we communicate and collaborate in cyberspace. He points out that it took five centuries for us to understand the true impacts of the printing press: we are just at the start of this journey in the Social Age, but one thing is for sure. The ways we work, the ways we collaborate, the ways we co-create meaning and share it are changing. We are at the start of something great, and i’m glad we found time to sit in a country pub by the sea to reflect on it.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
This entry was posted in Adaptability, Collaboration, Communication, Community, Engagement, Knowledge, Learning, Personal Learning Network, Social Learning and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The value of meeting up: the changing nature of work

  1. To a certain extent I do agree, but I find it interesting in a blog about meeting online you do start with a sentence that acknowledges the value you both place on meeting face to face!

  2. Pingback: The value of meeting up: the changing nature of...

  3. Concordo com o que disse, mas acho imprescindível ressaltar que, como na vida, é importante no trabalho e para ele, que tenhamos convívio face a face com as pessoas. Precisamos valorizar o calor humano e as mídias jamais o substituirão.

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