Sunday, March 6, 2011

The future workplace in engineering

Does your company have an IT policy? If yes, chances are that it talks about the Internet to be used only for work-related purposes etc.. Newer versions of these policies even deal with social media, probably by banning the use of Facebook, Twitter and even blogs during work.

I always wondered how people can even get their work done in such companies, not to speak of outperforming the competition. Being able to listen and potentially communicate with your customers, your competition and your potential future workforce is a competitive necessity.

Marianne Levinsen, Futurist and Chief of Research at the Danish centre for future studies, describes the digital natives as a pretty challenging future workforce. The border between private and work life just disappears when you are connected to your colleagues in a social network and when you are “always on” with your mobile phone. OTOH, she also points out the gap between the different generations and the resulting challenges in motivating them. I just ordered "The 2020 Workplace" in order to dig into this topic.

The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow's Employees Today
(Amazon affiliate link)

Luckily, engineers tend to embrace the new stuff a bit faster than others. Social Product Development gives us a glimpse at the future workplace in engineering. And for the others, it might be a good start to loosen up the IT policies and start using social media for business benefits. What do you think?

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