Could Google Glass change the fundamental way we work?

Google Glass isn’t really even that widely available yet, and it’s already a divisive issue. Heck, Alamo Drafthouse is already banning it! But perhaps the issue here is context: we’re all thinking about this in terms of regular ol’ people on the street having it and using it, and that might be weird — and that’s not a world we’re comfortable thinking about. But … what about work? Google Glass could make sense at work, right? Definitely if you’re a doctor. But what about other professions? Yes. Yes:

Put simply, try to imagine the number of businesses that could use the ability to see something far away from a remote location, but would rather not fly their personnel there. If you’ve ever taken part in a conference call, using video or not, you’ll know that businesses have an ever-growing need for remote services.

This is now happening in the oil/gas industry. Working in an office is expensive for the primary organization to maintain, and business travel is slowly helping to destroy the planet. The reason that both are still en vogue, though, is simple: (a) it’s the norm we’ve had since office work started and (b) there’s no real better way out there — those who work remotely are always going to be construed as harder-to-reach and Skype/screen sharing/Hangouts/etc. can only yield so much. Essentially, the system of remote, dispersed teams is still a highly imperfect sense — although some companies are better than others at it, yes — and there would be some similar limitations with Google Glass. But like Box re-organizing how and when we access data, so too could Glass — and it could make the prospect of remote work potentially more appealing to hiring managers. This would be a big step. You can see a little of how this information sharing works in oil/gas here:

That’s obviously very different than a 9-to-5 office environment, but the cornerstones are the same: real, ambient transition of knowledge and information. That could underscore someone in an oil field, or someone working from Austin when their team is primarily in Seattle.

And honestly … at this point would you bet against Google on most things?

Here’s a little bit more on the idea of Google Glass and your job, as well as Eric Schmidt (of Google) discussing the need for a more connected world.

Sidebar: could you imagine Google Glass in the hiring process? It might be weird to walk into an interview and see the person across from you wearing Glass, yes — but they’d have so much information about you at their fingertips (or eyes), so rather than asking you to “run through your resume,” they could get into real, specific questions. There’s always the possibility of human error in any decision-making process, but this could be a paradigm shift in terms of effective hiring.

Ted Bauer


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