Work is evolving from being a place to being a mind-set. It’s evolving from something I do during a fixed period of time to something that I do almost all the time, from something that was separate from my life to something that, for many of us, is integral to our life.
I also think that work is going from something that’s physical to something that’s about information, creation, and utilization. There are hundreds of millions of people around the world—people who are repairing aircraft engines, people who are working in retail stores—who are now knowledge workers. Technology is enabling them to work in a much more interesting way than they used to.
A quick example is guys on job sites in the Bakken oil field in North Dakota. It used to be that if something broke at a wellhead and the manual for it wasn’t handy, it could take weeks to find somebody who knew how to fix it, get the documentation you needed, et cetera. Now these guys can pull up the information on every piece of equipment at the wellhead instantly, using a mobile device over a cellular network. On the one hand, it’s more productive because the well gets back into productivity quicker, but it’s also better for the employee—nobody wants to sit around waiting for the manual to show up, especially at –30 degrees in North Dakota.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at How technology is creating a new world of work | McKinsey & Company