Working from Home

Who wouldn’t want to work from home? Surveys show that almost every other Israeli dreams of it. In the US, 2.5% of all employees never see an office, and several American companies no longer maintain any office space at all.

And what about studying at home? The world’s best universities teach online, and soon will be awarding degrees for online studies. Now add live sportscasts and multiplayer online role playing games. Slowly but surely, technology is rolling life up into an iPad.

In twenty years, will we make our livings, broaden our horizons and be entertained without moving off the couch? I really hope…not.

I know that this is one of the Internet’s promises, to work and learn anywhere in the world. We can talk about the advantages and disadvantages, but that is not the point. Technology or commerce are not the issue here, rather, rather, in the words of one of our prime ministers, it is life itself.

We have all heard the stories about the good old days when everyone knew everybody. You lived and died in your own village. In your own community. And then the Industrial Revolution sent us to the cities and factories, and suddenly life was divided into three parts: family, work, and community – the plaza and the pub. You can see it in all the old movies.

Now, life is split mostly between family and work. Sure you have your friends and hobbies, but no real community. Not like we used to have. Today, your real community is the people at work. So it goes.

But what will happen when there are no offices? Or schools? What will our social communities look like when technology eliminates the need to congregate? They will probably look like Twitter. They are already looking like Twitter.

Maybe we should stop and think about that for a while.

Written by Nadav Brandstater

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