Earlier today I came a cross a report by Johnson Controls which envisions the workplace in 2044. While wading through the jargon and future text it provides, and recalling happy days in the ‘80s when liquid lunches often generated creative works that never saw the light of day, I wondered how things would really work out in this brave new world, and would it really succumb to such a degree of meaningless jargon….
An employee’s journey to his first meeting of the day as envisioned by Johnson Controls in – 2045
As he waited for his autonomous transportation pod to collect him from his Hive and seamlessly transport him in a low-energy mode to the EcoHub for his personal colleague encounter, Digirati Specialist Executive Stevens, felt it had been a long nocturnal period in the Hive.
In view of his upcoming personal celebration, he and his female digerati had invited their junior digirati to bring their own juniors to spend the upcoming leisure and celebratory period in the Stevens Hive.
Unfortunately, the previous recommended leisure period had proved not to be restful, as the junior offspring had been unable to overcome the challenge of disengaging their cortical consciousness in time for the officially approved rest period for their annual accumulation of age metrics.
Instead they had insisited on being allowed to extend their activity period beyond what he now recognised was an appropriate point. This, he had discovered, was due to them having exceeded their optimal mental activity thresholds while engaging in a leisure activity that he had himself enjoyed, when at a similar life development period.
This activity, which utilized the active glass display facility of the Hive’s main recreational space together with interactive embedded sensors implemented int he original architectural design of the hive, had been marketed as providing manual dexterity and audiovisual stimulatory exercise. It achieved this through providing structured stimulation while encouraging creativity and free expression, together with controlled endorphin release, and had been popular during his own pre-adult maturation period under the name GrandTheft Auto.
Inducing the most junior digirati to achieve cortical disconnection had proved beyond even the highly advanced and innovative software suggestion capabilities of the Hive group’s newly leased Autonomous Childcare Development Controller. As the Senior masculine Digirati of the Hive, Stevens had deemed it beyond the scope of his task parameters to intervene, as he knew that the personal colleague encounter to which he was now heading would require his most diplomatic and inspirational input.
He mused that while he had striven to keep abreast of the wealth of technological innovations and developments in the workplace environment, the reality of his life was that with 60 combined annual activity periods behind him, his motivation and desire to achieve ongoing goal improvement, as suggested by his 360-degree peer review group, was beginning to diminish.
He also winced as he recalled that pointing out to his senior female digirati that he needed to have total faculty control during the following activity period, had perhaps been an inappropriate strategy – it had led to an energetic domestic discussion towards the mid point of the scheduled cortical disconnection period during which the measured sound level of their conversation had exceeded that recognised by an independently selected focus group of respected psychologists and relationship counsellors as harmonious.
He was half expecting a subliminal communication from the welfare department inquiring about the quality of their relationship, and suggesting opportunities for counselling and interpersonal communication skill improvement.
After the female digirati had replayed to him the subliminal messages that confirmed it had been his idea to invite their junior digirati’s immature personal offspring to reside temporarily in their personal hive, he eventually acknowledged her protestations that she too had an entrepreneurial objective that required substantial cortical disconnection in the appropriate period, and intervened to encourage their cortical disconnection through recounting anecdotal fictions to them.
Eventually he had managed to achieve personal cortical disconnection for approximately 0.5 of the nocturnal period, albeit in short bursts as a result of which his cortical activity monitor continually messaged him to ensure scheduling of an adequate rest period.
He knew his ability to deliver a world-class performance suitable for a leading global enterprise was at an unacceptably increased risk due to his temporary lack of personal capability, but he also knew that if he failed to deliver the expected performance, another executive would be offered the opportunity to take over the task leadership.
He needed additional stimulation, so, pausing at the automated refreshment facility on the way to the EcoHub, he requested a double caffeine boost drink. The biometric scanner built into his subcutaneous communicator had already alerted the Human Resource and Welfare system that his stress levels were unacceptably high, so his request was denied.
Instead the facility offered a herbal commestible, made of wholly natural ingredients that following independent laboratory testing had proved outstandingly capable of rebalancing the nervous system and ensuring optimal individual performance.
Accepting the carefully balanced nutrient, which was delivered in a totally recyclable drinking vessel, that as a by-product of detailed research and use of non-harmful materials ensured it would be maintained at the perfect consumption temperature, he walked towards the EcoHub and heard the soft feminine voice in his ear of his personal subcutaneous communicator.
“Mr. Stevens, Megacorp inc, the leading manufacturer of world-class solutions for B2B enterprises, regrets to advise you that due to an unforeseen change in the schedule of key participants in the personal encounter session, the location has been changed and the encounter period revised. Please make your way to the adaptive transportation hub where onward transportation will be provided. We apologise for this interruption to your schedule, assure you that Megacorp inc values your input and recognizes the value you deliver to our organisation and wishes you an enjoyable and productive activity period.”
Taking a sip of the nutrient drink, as he moved onto the transportation beltway to take him to the Transportation Hub, he found himself feeling that something was missing from his day– apart from a decent double Espresso – as he looked back on his career.
“Where did it all go wrong?” he wondered…