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Future of Work

New report analyzes the future of workplace productivity

August 27, 2019
Quentin Hardy

Head of Editorial, Google Cloud

Google Workspace Newsletter

Keep up with the evolving future of work and collaboration with insights, trends, and product news.


Look at the contemporary business landscape, and it seems like everything has changed in just a short amount of time. 

Today’s mid-career professional may have been in high school when the World Wide Web made the Internet a big commercial proposition. She likely started her career just before the dotcom bust, and, for nearly two decades, has witnessed the advent of big data, mobile, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotics, ecommerce, social media and more. Alongside the advent of these shifts in tech, the “office” has also transformed. From closed doors to cubicles to open plan, from typewriters to email to instant messaging, each transformation occurred in search of better information sharing and problem solving. 

Yet while it’s true that the world has changed, our ambitions as workers have not. The same things we’ve always wanted to get out of work remain: 

  • To be able to work fast, with fewer mind-numbing hassles in our day.
  • To be able to work smart, with quick access to the best possible information and the sharpest expertise.
  • To be able to chase the best ideas, and get our work recognized and improved for maximum impact.

While technology has increased the number of people we can connect with and how readily we can access new information, these opportunities can at times look like new challenges, especially if you rely on dated tools in the workplace. Nearly four in 10 U.S.-based business and IT leaders say their current systems make it harder, not easier, for their employees to work quickly. It’s like being asked to make carbon paper copies, when the rest of the world was first on email. 

Google’s latest report on the future of work examines challenges such as this, and how businesses can change their tools, workflows, and cultures to improve productivity and encourage innovation in the modern workplace. 

One of the interesting things about Google is that it was one of the first great companies to grow up assuming the internet as part of life. Consequently, this paved the way for the arrival of web-based email systems like Gmail, and productivity software to drive location-agnostic collaboration, like Google Drive or Docs. If you look at how these tools now incorporate advanced security and artificial intelligence for faster task execution, you’ll see a deep reflection of how work—and the world—has changed. People use these tools, however, because they meet human needs that have not changed.

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