As we begin the New Year, I find it fascinating to think about how are lives have changed over the past several decades with the introduction of cell phones, social networking, and Internet availability, among other things. It seems as if these tools have been a part of our lives forever, although while this may date me, I do remember a time not all that long ago when these items were not really all that mainstream.
As each of these groundbreaking ideas or concepts became reality and widely accepted, our world underwent drastic changes that we really didn’t notice at first. Now, it’s hard to imagine life without a cell phone that connects us 24/7 to schools, day care, work, and family. Getting a flat tire meant walking to a phone, hopefully somewhere close, to call someone for help – and then hoping that person was at home to help you. That is really hard to imagine now, and thankfully so.
There are lots of interesting developments that should make for an interesting decade or two ahead of us, from self-driving cars to virtual reality. Take a look here at some of the predictions on the horizon for the next decade or two out.
Should self-driving cars and other inventions become part of our everyday world, how will they shape our lives? I personally love new inventions and change. I’m excited to see the possibilities of fewer auto accidents resulting from human error or poor choices, as well as the expanded mobility these self-driving vehicles can bring to elderly and others who might not be able to drive themselves. However, as someone who gets motion sickness when not in the driver’s seat, I’m not so sure I’ll personally enjoy the experience more.
As we find our world evolving, organizations must also evaluate their workplaces and their measures of productivity. Telecommuting is commonplace now in most progressive workplaces. This provides convenience for employees and could yield significantly lower costs for organizations in maintaining office space. A hard to argue win-win all around. I also recall numerous instances over the past several years where I have been on conference calls with persons from around the world and never knew the difference until they mentioned where they lived in passing. The blurring of geographical lines with telecommuting and evolving technology means a better sharing of different viewpoints and ideas that we might not otherwise be able to replicate within our own culture.
The workplace is sure to continue to evolve and change and I wonder what life might look like for our children? The struggles we face today – balancing work/life, constantly keeping pace with new technological and professional developments, and even tackling the big issues like the environment, conservation, tolerance and poverty – how will these be tackled by the next generation? What new and creative ideas will come out of the next decade? I’m excited to see the future.
How about you? What developments are you watching and how do you see our lives transforming?