The biggest problem with “the future of work” is that it distracts us from the current state of work. Fantasies are nice, and science fiction is fun, but here are five of the silliest ideas about the near-future of work.
1. OFFICES ARE OVER
Telepresence technology is improving, but rather slowly. Some companies may be outsourcing to cheap telecommuters abroad, but offices—where your boss can most effectively manage and surveil you—still rule.
2. ROBOTS ARE GOING TO TAKE OVER ASAP
This is exciting, but machines are actually not great at doing stuff.
3. PART-TIME, FLEXIBLE, MOVING-TARGET EMPLOYMENT IS THE NEW NORMAL
4. AND IT'S COMPLETELY AWESOME
We still mostly have regular jobs because we need to make as much as we can—wages have stagnated, and cost of living is only going up. If anything, part-time jobs will supplement that meager income.
5. WHEN THE ROBOTS TAKE OVER, WE'LL ALL MAGICALLY HAVE MORE WEALTH AND BE TOTALLY TAKEN CARE OF
The Crooked Valley is an illustrated series exploring the systems of privilege and inequality that perpetuate tech's culture of bad ideas.