What's the Future of Work?

Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 4:29 PM EDT

What's the Future of Work?People have been speculating about the future of work since the first farmer showed up with a pointy stick to plant a seed. Still, the recent changes in technology allowing for globalization and telecommuting, have left many workers feeling like the pace of change is accelerating. This month Business Week offers a podcast on the subject and some interesting poll results and statistics to spur the conversation.

Business Week asked 2,000 managers and executives for their thoughts on the future of work, and found they were pretty optimistic:

  • Fully 60% of respondents ... expect working conditions for the average person to be better in 10 years than they are now.
  • 82% of respondents said that self-fulfillment will be a more powerful motivator than fear if we look 10 years out.
Still, there are some fairly discouraging statistics as well. Including these:
Job satisfaction in the U.S. plummeted in 2006 to a record low.... according to a survey of 5,000 households done for the Conference Board. Only 47% of workers were satisfied with their jobs in 2006, down from 59% in 1995.
When adjusted for inflation, the real wages and salaries of U.S. workers with at least a bachelor's degree are barely higher than they were in 2000.
The podcast offers tips for managers dealing with the changing world of work and with diverse, dispersed teams, as well as tips on how to avoid been "Bangalored"-- having parts of your job shipped abroad -- along with speculation about the effects of technology on the workplace of the future.

Business Week asks: "Are Americans' jobs going to become more interesting and complex as rote tasks are moved offshore or eliminated by technology? Or will managers and workers be ground down by competitive pressures that leave little time or room for creativity and innovation?" BNET Intercom readers, what's your answer?

(Image of motorway at night by Mozzer502, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.