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    1. wholesaleinsight's Avatar
      wholesaleinsight is offline

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      #1

      The Future of Work

      Ten years ago, I used a cell phone when driving in a car – and it was a gigantic phone, at least 20 times the size of my current phone. Now I use a mobile phone as my main business phone. My secondary phone line is Skype, the online telecommunications service. Landlines no longer fit into my business requirements.

      Ten years ago video conferencing, but it was in its early childhood – a costly set-up so inclined to unexplained disruptions and technical difficulties that it was barely worth trying to make it work. Now I work from a home office and habitually hold video conferences from my desk with other entrepreneurs located all around the world in their home offices, using a $90 webcam.

      More differences: Ten years ago the most social I ever got online was to leave a couple of comment in a discussion forum a couple of times a month. Today I devote at least an hour a day towards being “social” online. Every day I am twittering and answering to Facebook comments and blog comments and passing along videos.

      Even three years ago my social activity was picking up, but was still less frantic. I took part in many social sites. Now it feels like social sites are multiplying faster than rabbits. I seem to spend a healthy amount of time being social online, for business purposes.

      All of this thinking on the past leads me to wonder what our working days will be like in 5 years. Here are a few predictions on what it could be like:

      All software will be accessible online – Except for the computer’s operating system and a few "assistant" programs, I can mirror most if not all of my software being accessed over the Web rather than occupying my hard drive. I’m just about at this point already. What we arrive at is bettered internal processing, lower costs, and virtually infinite range of alternatives of software to fit our exact needs. Small business owners are just starting to feel the enormous leverage to be had from automatizing internal processing power. Years ago the current technology used to be out of reach for many small businesses. Small businesses tended to be always behind the latest technology due to the high cost of implementing new technologies and the labor involved. But no more, not with a monthly subscribed software service alternatives that do not require an IT department.

      Intelligent apps will communicate with one another, and update and perform routines automatically – no longer downloading data or manually transferring from one software program to another. No longer updating or synchronizing files or thinking to take this action or that. In the future this will all be managed for us. Today we already see this with QuickBooks automatically updating information from financial institutions. Or online file backups that are automatically scheduled and synced. Or anti-trojan programs that automatically updates and scans. Imagine this for every software program we depend on, touching on every process in our workday. Especially for small businesses, which tend to be lightly staffed, the better efficiencies and cost savings from minimizing manual activities will be spectacular.

      Computers will get closer to becoming expendable – I’ve been buying new computers at shorter intervals – from 5 year-intervals ten years ago, to barely 18-month internals now. I can't wait to anticipate the day where a computer lasts just a year or less before the advantages – and the inexpensive cost – make it a no-brainer to upgrade annually. This will become significant as we move on with improvements in voice recognition and other interface progressions that quickly improve how we use our computers.

      The borderless establishment becomes a reality for small businesses – When Jack Welch generalized the term "borderless company" in the 1980s and 1990s, it was used to describe large corporations that functioned without paying attention to global borders. In very much the same way small businesses will reach the breaking point of being borderless, both globally and without relation to their company structure. By cooperating with other small businesses; outsourcing projects and affairs to freelancers anywhere across the globe; and using PayPal to quickly and easily pay for outsourced assistance no matter where they're located, we’ll soon reach a time where the borders” of the small company – even a sole proprietorship – will be liquid indeed.

      The ROI of being social pays off – Social is the future of work. We’ll progressively spend time being social online. The divided landscape that we see nowadays will begin to standardize and become simpler to manage. The ROI of being social becomes so obvious that it will be a career requirement for employing new staff. Not only will new people be gauged on their education and professional skills, but also on their interpersonal skills, their online social skills and the ability to get things done through their virtual networks.

      These are just a few ways that work will continue to develop and change, especially for entrepreneurs and small business people. Welcome to the fearless new world.
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    2. kieth is offline

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      The advances taking place are tremendous, that's for sure, but a machine and all of it's components can only go so fast before it tops out.
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    3. Learnsfast is offline

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      Agreed Kieth. Technology is a wonderful thing but IMO we have become way too dependent on it. For example, if a solar flare like they keep mentioning in the news takes out the power grids then society will collapse because no one knows how to function without a cell phone and a computer.

    4. Thomas is offline

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      This is why, in my opinion., it's always good to leave a paper trail at least 5 years long. It's good of course for tax and legal purposes, but it's also good for the "you never know" purpose. When it comes to the latest advancements though, I always look for the practicality of it first. If it has practical applications that can help me keep a leg up on the competition, then I will, without a doubt, buy it.

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