Gone are the days when people had to endure long commutes or even move residences for work; In the future, people will have the luxury of working whenever they like, wherever they like – at least this is the promised future of work, according to demographer Bernard Salt.
According to Mr. Salt, the next generation of workers he now refers to as “GenNBN,” will have the ability to fit work into their preferred schedules and in locations that are convenient rather than a hassle for them. Instead of having to adjust their lifestyle around work, he says they will be able to do the opposite.
In Towards a super connected Australia GenNBN: understanding Australia’s most connected generation, Mr. Salt said this is the promise of superfast broadband and it is an aspiration fitting comfortably with the Australian penchant for lifestyle.
He also said that high speed broadband will make high-definition video conferencing possible and will turn employees who currently do homebased work from the minority into the majority. By being tethered to the Internet their whole lives, GenNBN will not be forced to stick with the traditional 8-hour, 9 to 5 work day.
As work becomes increasingly measured by deliverables, Mr. Salt believes it does not matter if those deliverables are delivered over three bursts of work in a span of 24 hours instead of the traditional nine-to-five straight shift.
The kind of lifestyle opportunity Australia’s new broadband network may deliver is the ability to time shift – working when and where people want to work.
He said the challenge presented by this lifestyle might be to contain work. In the event that work can be shuffled, there might be no boundaries to work for some personalities. This highly connected and always on world, he said, may pose the challenge of defining boundaries and setting clear timeframes as to when work time is and when non work time is.