Undoing the Industrial Revolution

Via her majesty.

Jakob Nielsen writes about Undoing the Industrial Revolution. I thought it was a good article full of futurist thinking & rhetoric to make you believe what he’s saying things will eventually do or be.

I disagree with his point that people will never really leave work because they are so accessible via communication technology is a positive thing. I’m sure he meant it a lot deeper since he only uses a short description to talk about it. That’s a bad thing for those who don’t have a choice. Stress is the biggest health problem in this country, and it’s only getting worse. Being accessible 24×7 does not facilitate one being able to leave work at work. My dad is a salesman, and although this ability makes him really successful and builds his reptutation as dependable, he’s always on call and at times makes him diffucult to deal with family wise.

However, I cannot deny the positives. I fully agree with his geographically dispersed companies and services. The ability for me to work at home, and provide my talents remotely to a still physically accessible team is great. I save money, significantly reduce wear and tear on my car, gain at least 2 hours of my day back from driving, and have a lot less stress.

It’s nice, too, to hear about the need for colaboration technologies. In my own experience and talking to others, the biggest challenge to getting outsourcing to really work is communication barriers via distance. Time is one thing, but software to help offset that is another. I’m sure as technologies such as Breeze, LiveMeeting, and Convoq’s ASAP mature, we’ll see this improve, but I’m not sure if it will catch up to the point where we need it now, for someone like me at home use and for companies who are outsourcing abroad… or by the time it does, it’ll start an exodus, kind of like how I only work 2 hours away, but then increasing numbers could do that, and eventually remote locations are far more accessible; as soon as such technology successful satisfies our needs, and we in turn adapt to some their new paradigms, if any.

Good article.