Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Technology and Working Life

Technology is supposed to make our lives better, isn’t it? More capable, more efficient, accomplishing tasks in shorter amounts of time. And what’s the point of that? A more civilized life, I thought – more leisure, more time for oneself…
June 16, 2005

Technology is supposed to make our lives better, isn’t it? More capable, more efficient, accomplishing tasks in shorter amounts of time. And what’s the point of that? A more civilized life, I thought – more leisure, more time for oneself and for friends and family.

Except it’s not looking to be that way. A distressing new report from a group called OfficeTeam looks at trends in office life over the next 10 to 15 years. They found that “technology will continue to reshape the workspace,” but it’s not exactly the kind of reshaping that technology – especially wireless technologies – were supposed to bring:

– Forty-two percent of executives polled said they believe employees will be working more hours in the next 10 to 15 years. Only 9 percent said they would be working fewer hours.

– Workers will stay in touch with the office while on vacation.

– Travel will be reduced, and telecommuting will increase. But workers will be under increasing stress and strain to “adapt quickly to change, work smarter, increase productivity and perform duties outside of one’s job description.” Sure, that works for some workers, primarily younger workers. But does it work for everyone?

“As a result,” the study concludes, “flexibility and adaptability will be sought-after attributes in employees at all levels.” That sounds to me like code word for “you’ll do it our way or hit the highway.”

Sure, wifi, cell phones, videoconferencing, and the developments of the next decade enable us to do things we couldn’t do before, and part of that is an overall benefit. Heck, some of it’s even fun. But Americans work hard enough and vacation little enough as it is. If the cost is yet longer hours and fewer true vacations, is the price really worth it? Worse, do workers really have any choice about it?

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.