I am writing this blog starting in Maryland and finishing it in Florida on the same day. We all know how the internet has changed the landscape of the relationship between the work that is needed and the physical location where work is done.
Not all work, of course, can be done remotely but some tasks are being done very well remotely.
I am seeing a trend in which talented people will resemble ancient caravan craftsmen who sold their skills as artisans to no set employer.
Between 130 and 100 BC, when Emperor Wu was ruling China he set up the Silk Road, it snaked 6,000 miles from its eastern edge in China to what is Turkey today and branched into Africa. Rather than the modern-day internet connections, the artisans used camels. In a single caravan, there could be thousands of camels on a dangerous journey that could take several months. The artisans took that risk for the freedom it engendered.
The purpose of the Silk Road was to foster trade in goods like salt, copper, precious stone, and all manners of luxury items, but it also allowed the ancient craftsmen to pick and choose who they would work for and for what price in any of the countries they chose along the route.
Rather than being tied to one company, future workers might work for several employers at the same time and design their work hours compensation, and benefits packages. It is an evolving landscape, where I believe, even in government employees may use their skills to work independently for several agencies at the same time.
Stephen Covey said, "Every human has four endowments - self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change."
The workers of the future will put into action what Stephen Covey espoused.