The Perils That No One Predicted

Microsoft has produced a film that portrays the world of work a few years from now. I remember seeing one of these from 1990 – a bright cheery world of the future where a woman talked to a computer in her car while the computer arranged meetings and prepared presentations. At the time I wondered if the world of the future would match the utopian vision. Well, the future has arrived, and it isn’t always pretty.

The reality is quite different. For instance, our work measurement studies show that employees spend 3.2 hours per week reading miscellaneous emails that have nothing to do with their main activities. And many employees spend 30 minutes per week fixing technology problems.

The film omits these and other technological glitches that are part of daily life. When it comes to time management, technology can often hinder as much as it can help. Consider this list of hassles that no one predicted:

  • Spam
  • Voice mail jail
  • Unnecessary emails
  • Dropped cell phone calls
  • Unwanted telemarketing calls
  • Car crashes caused by texting
  • Drained batteries
  • Ringing phones at movies
  • Phone interruptions at restaurants
  • Broken web site links
  • Computer viruses
  • Costly smart phone apps
  • Expensive downloading costs
  • Identity theft
  • Billing problems from service providers
  • Help desks that offer no help
  • Inadvertent pocket dialing
  • Hackers
  • Blackberry service interruptions
  • Social media obligations
  • Advertising everywhere

If the world of today includes all of these things that no one predicted twenty years ago, then the world of the future is just as likely to be fraught with frustrations.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s what will make life interesting.

Feel free to add comments with your own hassles.


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