Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/27/orange_the_way_to_work/

Orange reports on the workplace of 2016

It might be quite grim, apparently

By Bill Ray

Posted in CIO, 27th October 2006 01:02 GMT

Orange's Future Enterprise Coalition has released a report discussing at the place and manner of work in 2016.

"The Way to Work" is the second report published by the coalition. The first, "Organisational Lives", looked at how individuals might be using mobile technologies in the future.

The coalition feels the way in which society approaches intellectual property is going to be a key: if large companies maintain a stranglehold on their IP, innovation will be stifled and the workplace of the future will be little more than a cubicle farm.

But that is the least optimistic of the four scenarios proposed, with others suggesting a more flexible working environment becoming normal and the line between employee and freelancer becoming ever more blurred.

This change will effect what companies are, with the days of reliable blue-chip monoliths being numbered, and even large companies having to become more flexible and less risk adverse.

In a survey, commissioned by Orange, over 60 per cent of British workers said IT had given them more freedom over the last five years. For that trend to continue employees are going to have to take more responsibility for their own careers, as well as financial planning, and the report suggests that unions and other professional bodies might fulfill that role.

"The Way to Work" also includes recommendations for companies planning to still be around in 2016, and is available as a free download (pdf) from Orange. ®