New Zealand in 2040... Impact of tech on the workplace

In 25 years’ time, the work colleague you chat to at the water cooler might be a hologram...

In 25 years’ time, the work colleague you chat to at the water cooler might be a hologram, your daily coffee fix may arrive at your office by drone and the plumber that turns up to fix a leak might be a robot.

That's the view of MYOB Chief Technology Officer Simon Raik-Allen, following the release of the company's ‘Future of Business Report: New Zealand 2040’, a special report examining the future of business and work over the next 25 years, as well as the impact of a number of developing technologies.

The report features a range of perspectives, including views on the future from Federated Farmers, the Employers and Manufacturers Association, Microsoft and an international futurist.

Raik-Allen says technology will transform the way we work, but those changes will be driven by the rising cost of energy and transport and the need to manage impacts on the environment.

“The biggest invention to change the workforce since email will be the holographic representation of people,” Raik-Allen says.

“We will work in a ‘shared workplace’ that will be set up so that you can interact with holographic people from all around the world.

"You may never meet the people you work for in person, because you will be pitching your ideas to a global workforce.”

According to Raik-Allen, 2040 will also herald the decade of thought activation and mind control.

“You won’t just be wearing your technology," he explains. "You will be able to have chips embedded in your body, that interface with various parts of your body to either report on your health so you can manage your food and vitamin intake, or send signals to various organs to help regulate your body.

"Extremely tiny robots known as nanobots will crawl through your veins performing maintenance.

“Your brain will be also start to be integrated and there will be many things you can control just by thinking about them. You might even be able to purchase brain add-ons, just like you buy apps today for your phone.”

Raik-Allen says the idea of money will also be revolutionised.

“You will be able to transact and be paid by internet-based crypto-currencies, which will be governed by independent bodies, such as associations and corporations, rather than governments," he adds.

"Any business will be able to make its own currency – to buy and sell at values regulated by the market and at the perceived value of the company.

“As this trend develops, exchanges of currencies, much like we have today, will arise entirely independent of national economies.”

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