We're at the very beginnings of a significant evolution in the way we work — not just in from a technical perspective, although that's a significant driver — but in the culture and nature of work and organizational relationships. The way we work today is markedly different from the way our parents worked, and even more distant from the way their parents worked. The shift is so pronounced in part because knowledge work requires that we manipulate digital objects — be they words, videos, designs, figures, models, or code — rather than physical ones, and that these digital objects represent our production. However, for knowledge workers — designers, engineers, architects, scientists, writers, etc. — while the tools of the trade may have become digital decades ago, the process of working with others, the structure and the framework of engagement, is still catching up. And all the while, the technology continues to race forward.
While digital communication and production tools have made it possible that we no longer need be in the same physical location to collaborate, from a human interaction perspective, it still helps to meet face-to-face, read body language around the table, and share a meal. So, now we exist in a hybrid space where colleagues from across the world can meet up to kick off a project, and then continue working separately, only to meet again at critical moments in the process. Into this new digital world of possibilities, we step with the baggage of the industrial age, whether it's organizational structure, or contract language, or work culture. We're still finding our way and inventing new ways to work together to produce new things.