The Future of Work

About 2 years ago I had written an article about Future of work for a contest by HCL technologies.

Today with advent of companies like Gigster , it seems the vision is shaping up.

Reproducing the article again,More updates coming soon

Never before have we been at a verge of change so drastic that it can sound scary.

Let me explain by asking two questions.
Where do you think the world is heading?
How will the offices and companies of future look like?

To answer these things we can simply look towards key trends

1. Digitization of work: With advancements in computing power more and more work is being digitized and broken down into smaller pieces. This has enabled organizations to break big complex problems to smaller and now tiny micro problems, which can be solved simultaneously by a crowd of people.

2. Super Specialization: The new world is moving slowly towards super specialization in narrow areas. As we discussed in the last point, work will be divided into smaller chunks and these chunks would now be assigned to individuals who will be super specialized in a very narrow area of work. Yes it does sound like a typical production line model but it is slightly different because now the super specialization would be self-selected and less rigid.

3. Mobility: The world will and already is becoming increasingly mobile. Employees will work from home much more and geographies would become irrelevant. We are moving towards a One-world system. Traditional global organizations followed the mantra “Produce where it is cheapest and sell where it is most profitable”. Now this will change to include “Hire where there is talent”

4. Freelancing the new order: With super specialization in place it might no longer be viable for companies or even for employees to stick together. Contract based assignments will no longer be an alternative way of employment but rather become the preferred way. A big shift that we might see is that many freelancers might come together for projects to form a temporary unit, which can be viewed as a short-term company. New Laws might also come in place to manage these new kinds of companies


So what does that mean for companies?
1. Death of Onsite: Though it sounds outrageous, this might be a very near possibility. As more and more employees become mobile, offices might reduce to data centers and support service providers for collaborating employees. Sending people at onsite location might become irrelevant. Most collaboration would happen via tools such as Video Conferencing

2. Skill Matters not the Experience: Since now teams will start forming democratically in the world of freelancing, skill will become much more important than number of years of experience. As we have already seen on places such as codeplex, the most influential coders and project leads can be anyone even 15 year old kids

3. Companies as talent Management Agencies: Existing Companies will become much more of collaborators and platforms rather than just owners of the work. Primary responsibility of companies would be business development and coordination of disparate units.

How will the companies survive?
1. Infrastructure: Companies need to accept this change and be ready. The biggest challenge these companies now face is how to make it’s workforce mobile and flexible. Investments in infrastructure would be required. Companies that fail to ride this wave of change might perish

2. HR practices: HCL pioneered the concept of employee first model, which was a completely opposite to traditional way of thinking. Companies now will have to go a step further. Employees will be mobile and comprise of many contractors who would be associated with multiple companies. Managing their expectations would be the biggest challenge

3. New Managers: The new manager would have to be a collaborator. Someone who can handle disparate large teams spread across the world. The key characteristics of a manager would be less of leading people or growing talent but more of fostering communication and collaboration.
And yes managers would have to be tech savvy and ahead in technology curve. They will need to be the first ones to change and adapt rather than last. The new market will not forgive managers who take ages to embrace change.

Yes the changes might first occur in IT sector that but does not mean that it will be the only sector affected. Every sector including RnD will see massive shifts .The world is changing and so will the companies


Random Videos from my Youtube Playlists-Music Version

Visited my YouTube favorites, Liked videos and watch later playlists , its great to see how your likes and things important to you have changed over time. Songs that you listened at-least 10 times a day have not been played for years , some things you felt were great at some point seem pretentious and some that have come back as if the life goes in circles.

So here are a few Random videos from my YouTube history . Mainly Music, will do a non music version as well .

Sharing stuff that I probably have not shared before

Gurdas Mann –The Man The Legend: The sheer energy of this video is infectious, I feel like dancing. Oh and not to mention the outrageous color riot in his clothes , everything in the video is just bubbling with energy and possibly only Gurdas Mann could have done so

Jack Johnson and a guitar makes magical music. Really wanted to learn this song on Guitar. Still do

Ok I loved this song, mainly because of the beats….Don’t judge me…I was young 😛

The Time I got introduced to Mystery Guitar Man and his Awesomeness

The Angels have come, Angels have come..they are called Celtic Women

Get Away from me –What should I even Say- I LOVED THIS ONE. Possibly something many youngsters feel…as if they don’t exist , lonely in a crowd , ignored …oh those “trying to fit in” days

Ok this one was in my Liked Videos so I better share it 😛 . What Should I say, Great Cinematography ? uhm uhm

Not sure when i added this but it’s sweet 😛 ..

I am not ashamed to admit that I liked loved Taylor Swift’s song Love story, but have you heard the Man version of the song

Since we are on the topic of Original songs..Here is what I re-discovered ..A song on Mario Kart

Its so damn sweet

One Regret in Life : Could not see Jagjit Singh Live performance

Another Love Song..

That’s all for today Folks 😛


Who are we

Who are we ,
A speck of dust
A thread of imagination

Are we Gods,
Gods of our own creation
Which we created

Created to build something greater
Something to forget our mortality
Something to become immortal

Are we creations
For amusement of the mighty
or beings to fulfill a higher purpose

purpose so high that the creator could not achieve it
So we were created
as the higher form of the highest

Could we be simply be the computers
made to answer the ultimate question
or to find the ultimate question

Could we be just the question itself
A question which once asked destroys the ultimate
Or creates one

We could be just meat-bags
accidents of nature, freaks
just thinking stones and dust

Who are we ,
A speck of dust
A thread of imagination

NGOs need to start looking out for technologists rather than just influencers

So what is the whole point of an NGO? Do something good? Fill the gaps where the government fails? Raise some issues of importance?

In their zeal for achieving their objectives , most NGOs spend considerable time reaching out to people, people with great social circles, influence and possibly power.

But here is a thought , in an Utopian world NGOs should not exist . They exist only because there are some issues that are not being resolved by the governments , some voices that are not finding ears and some people who get an unfair deal. Simply put “Because there is a problem that needs fixing” . If the main motto is resolving the issue, it makes sense to work more towards reaching out to problem fixers and not just information spreaders.

In the current world, there are hardly any problems where technology cannot help.There is corruption? We can help by building easy to use RTI systems .There is a natural disaster and we don’t think aid is reaching the right places, we need a way to survey the area and maybe pass it on to government agencies .

Not saying anything against NGOs reaching out to pure influencers or the influencers themselves , rather making a case for many NGOs to change focus and reach out to a very different kind of audience . You need Geeks and Nerds on your side. They love solving problems .

Just a thought

Curious Case of Salman Khan Sympathy Wave

Salman Khan was convicted (only 5 year punishment for killing a man and maiming others, driving drunk and running away) and is now out of bail.

I get it , people like Salman Khan :The Actor , what I do not get is the sympathy wave for him BECAUSE he did so much charity. Really?

The Indian judicial system is geared towards reform rather than punish, hence being a good person with good behaviour does help in the court of law,I get that ,and at some level I support that too .

But what really baffles me is the incredible outpouring of grief for his ,in my opinion too lenient ,sentencing . And the sympathy wave seems to be justified based on an NGO called Being Human.

This made me wonder, do people really care about NGOs and the so called Good work done by them?

Let me put things into perspective , the “Great” Reliance Industries has a CSR wing that spent 700 crores for the betterment of society(3.25% of profits ..among highest percentage in indian corporates BTW) .

Even If you doubt their intentions ,you will agree that with that kind of money many people would have been helped. This is being done by Ambani’ Wife Nita Ambani.By owning Shares and being active in the company , their son too is party to this .

So do we have sympathy for their Son who was also accused of ramming his Aston Martin while probably drunk driving? The case has been erased from public memory as almost no News channel ever covers it . Come on Sympathy for that “Poor” Chap? What if he makes an appearance in an orphanage where he donates a crore? Would we have sympathy for him them (assuming he is ever punished). How many crores of money would it take? I am sure monetarily Reliance would have done more than being human.

If we really cared about people doing good work, what about thousands of people selflessly doing great work on the ground? What about 100s of NGOs being targeted by the government ? Did we flinch and ask once , do they really need to be banned? Hey you say “rule of law”  then, what happened to rule of law in Salman’s case? Just because the government said “Foreign Funding” , we just looked the other way? (Not to mention India has relied on foreign aid for many many years) . I am not defending NGOs breaking laws, but again where is the sympathy for them? Many of whom are probably filled with volunteers who might have given up jobs to work there? Where is the sympathy if the NGO work really matters to you?

It took a Nobel Peace prize for Indians to recognise the great work people like Kailash Satyarthi  were doing, where was the love of “Good Work” then?

I am sorry to call out the hypocrisy of many people today. You DO NOT care about Salman Khan’s “Being Human” . You Love Salman Khan the actor and just don’t want him to go to jail and are letting it cloud your judgement.

So yes, You can be sad at him going to jail(if he ever goes, which looks never) , you can say that he has reformed  , you can cry over his delayed films , but please save your sympathies for the victims here. .Being Human is not his repentance.It’s a good thing, I give you that but have a moment for the real victim here(Hint: It’s not Salman Khan).

Let the court decide how much consideration they want to give to his “NGO work” , don’t make a show of it (Someone even tried committing suicide in his support, but failed).

In India Powerful people rarely get punished, if he did gets punished, be happy that poor people can get justice (even though after 13 years it’s meaningless)

Maybe I am wrong, I hope I am wrong but that seems a bit improbable.