Increasing connectivity will change how and where we labor—even the very notion of an employer.
You have no idea how you’d get any work done on business trips if you didn’t have a laptop. You can’t remember quite how you lived without your BlackBerry. Your cell phone might as well be surgically attached to your ear, it’s so crucial to your job. Then there’s the Internet. It’s hard to conceive of getting through the day without Google (GOOG )—or, if you’re under 40, text messaging or even joining Facebook to stay in touch with your extended network of colleagues. In just a decade or less, technology sure has done a number on the way you work, hasn’t it?
Well, brace yourself. Over the next decade, the relentless march of computer power and Net connection speeds will bring more profound changes to work than anything we’ve seen so far. Consider just a few of the breakthroughs technology visionaries think we’re likely to see in coming years. Picture Apple’s (AAPL ) slick iPhone shrunk down to the size of a credit card. Then imagine it can connect not only to your contacts on the latest social network but also to billions of pea-sized wireless sensors attached to buildings, streets, retail products, and your co-workers’ and business partners’ clothes—all sending data over the Net to you.