Richard Donkin's The Future of Work is a fascinating book. It discusses how working practices have changed over the last half century and how go-ahead firms are adapting to the opportunities provided by new technologies. Companies like Microsoft and Google are way ahead of the mainstream in the way they treat their employees. People communicate by video conferencing instead of travelling the world. Offices are open 24 hours a day so that people can work at the time of day or night that suits them.
Then there are the state of the art office complexes which provide gyms, health services, Internet access and concierge services. Apparently where employers have completely revamped the way they treat their employees staff turnover has declined by as much as 90% - suggesting it is not just money which motivates people to do a good job. Companies are experimenting with the modern form of piecework - teams given a deadline by which to deliver a project and left to get on with it. How they achieve the desired result is up to them.
Donkin makes the point that work needs to change. The old hierarchical structure needs to be modernised and for many businesses it is no longer suitable. There are other ways of getting a job done than the tried and tested methods.