Work in a Mobile, Social World

The world of social media and mobile devices is fundamentally changing the way we work.

A Shift in Behavior

Once upon a time, we showed up at The Company as fresh recruits, left our past lives behind, and learned “The Company Way.” We learned the lingo, donned the dress code, and did all our work with Company-issued equipment. The other people at The Company and their families became the bulk of the our social interactions, and we could expect to spend years if not decades at The Company.

Today’s workers (especially the college students who will become workers of the future) are different.   They are used to small social interactions with a wide network of contacts, accumulated over a lifetime. A tweet here. A text there. A like once in a while.  And they’re used to interacting with all those connections through their own mobile devices, be it a laptop, Blackberry, or phone.

In other words, today’s workers are more social and more mobile.

A New Way of Working

You are already seeing this happen: Today’s programmers work with their own laptops. They connect to your source code repository network and get to work. When they leave, they disconnect from your network.  Similarly, today’s salespeople are calling on the contacts already in their Blackberries and cell phones for you.  In essence, they are bringing their professional social network to you.

In other words, work has become the act of a mobile endpoint joining a network.

I’ll write about what this means for enterprise software next.

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