Going to work today is a lot like walking into a Best Buy. Corporate offices are beeping, streaming and channeling organisms surviving under the all-providing wealth of data known as, “The Cloud.” This upgrade to the workplace has demanded personnel upgrades as well. Where resourcefulness used to land people jobs in the archaic, wifi-less world of the 20th Century, multitasking is now industry standard for anyone desiring a job outside manual labor. But with great gadgets comes great distractions and 2012 should prove to be the most distracting year to date.
Technology companies like Apple, HTC and Motorola push our minds to believe that one more toy will make our lives indubitably easier. And that was okay, until employers started pitching the same story. In many industries today, workers are expected to be “on” all the time. “On,” meaning seamlessly connected to both personal and professional networks, streamlining next week’s workload to be more efficient tomorrow – all while living a normal life today. “Last month, for example, Volkswagen agreed with labor representatives in Germany to limit work-related emails on BlackBerrys during off-hours,” says The New York Times.
Most people forget in the splendor of being loaned a new shiny iPad, that just simply opening the packages of these things requires training. Too many people learned new technology the wrong way in 2011. People are being trained for complex and technical positions at 4G speeds and that doesn’t allot for adequate certifications always. Corporate spending on training rose last year fortunately and we can expect that trend to continue this year.
The independent worker or “freelancer” saw significant action in 2011. The advances in technology have made it much easier for “people to find projects and projects to find people,” says Gene Zaino, president and chief executive of MBO Partners. The quarrel with this however, is that working alone gets lonely. So, people have discovered this not-so-new concept that many annoying managers have been preaching about for the last hundred years called, “co-working.” The difference now? People have begun doing this on their own with other people from various fields, outside the office. Of course, the government has a problem with this, finding it difficult to obtain their cut from this kind of work. It shouldn’t shock people this year if the Fed writes up legislation transforming contract workers into employees.
“Get with the times,” should and probably will soon be changed to, “Get with the technology.” What once was an enjoyable pastime, is now a job requirement. Multitasking, as Howard Hughes (a pioneer of technology himself) would say is, “The way of the future.” Actually, he would probably say it about six more times, which is how many you can expect your hiring manager to say it as well, so learn it well.