”Throughout the primate world, social networks provide a fast conduit for innovation and information-sharing that help the group as a whole to adapt to its environment.”
Alex Wright, “Glut - Mastering Information Through The Ages”
The future workplace will be hyper-connected, meaning that we will use multiple means of communication, so that we can be more innovative, quickly adapt to a changing environment, and access and use all the best resources we need to do what we need to do, no matter where the resources are located.
More and more, work will be treated as something we do, not a place (building). Knowledge / creative work is highly collaborative by nature and we can't let time, space and organization stop us from collaborating with the right people at the right time. Virtual collaboration will become the norm and face-to-face meetings will be seen as one of the many ways of meeting each other.
The previously so common 1:1 relationship between organization and enterprise will be very uncommon. A typical enterprise will be made up of people from many different organizations, and a typical organization will be involved in many different enterprises. People might belong to an organization, but it is secondary to the work do and who they work with.
The network will need to replace the hierarchy as the primary model for organizing resources. As work becomes more and more network-oriented, so will the way we organize ourselves and other resources.
New generations that enter the workplace will be always connected, they will be more open to making new connections, and they will be more connected than any generation before them. The will understand and nurture the value of their relationships, with a solid understanding that "no man is an island" and that their success and well-being depends on with whom they are connected, how they are connected, and how they mutually benefit from using these connections.
Our focus will shift from producing and organizing documentation to communicating and interacting in real-time, with documentation as a by-product. We will need to spend more time on building and maintaining relationships and less on trying to find information and people, recreating information we cannot find, and creating documentation as an activity separated from our daily work.
Right now, we are just seeing the dawn of the hyper-connected age.