Can you imagine walking into an office with no computer monitors? Can you even fathom how you’d get your work done without your laptop? You’re probably thinking, “No, not really,” and actually, so am I. However, it’s not as far-fetched as we might think.

Meta is a San Francisco start-up that designs augmented reality headsets. These headsets overlay holographic images on what you see in the real-world. With floating virtual screens, users can grab, toss, and stretch 3-D models with their hands, surf the web, send emails, and more. It’s mind-boggling. Check out the recent Bloomberg piece on it here. The article states that Meta founder and CEO Meron Gribetz hopes this new technology will bring an end to what he refers to as the “tyranny of the modern workplace.”

With laptops, VPN connections, network drives, and cell phones, I’ve never considered the modern office as a limiting space. I can grab my laptop and go, make whatever internet accessible location I happen to be occupying my “office.”

But what if things could be mainly hands-free? What if I could take my hologram projecting device with me to the beach or in the car and work there? To the outside person, I might look like I’m just reaching at nothing in thin air; but on the other end of the spectrum, I’m sending emails, researching on the web, and opening files on my “desktop.” The concept is fascinating. Certainly taking employee engagement to the next level.

One minute, let me bring up my hologram.

So much about the way we work is changing as technology continues to progress. Even the kind of basic skills we need tucked away in our mental tool-kit are no longer the same. Robots are able to do so much of what we humans can, and they don’t even have to think. The Workforce Institute at Kronos recently shared a blog relating to this idea: The Death of the Single Skill Set. To compensate for automation, we should focus our attention on up-skilling individuals in key job roles where specialized skills are needed. Prepare for the future – learn how to use holograms? – not just train for today.

I think we’re all living through a technological turning point, and the innovative inventions coming into play make it quite the time to be out in the workforce. Maybe before we know it Meta-type hologram headsets will be the norm – just as radio, television, cell phones, and computers have become regular devices in our daily routines. Each an initially disruptive yet incredible breakthrough changing the way we live our lives. It's an exciting thought!

Time Well Spent

Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017