– [Narrator] This is theworkforce of the future.
Technology is transformingthe world of work beyond all recognition, creatinggroundbreaking opportunities.
– It's an amazing thing to beliving in this digital age.
– But it's also erodingthe rights of workers.
– It creates a kind of dog eat dog world.
– [Narrator] Some even feara dystopian jobless future.
– Technology today could lead to 45% of current jobs disappearing.
– [Narrator] But arethese anxieties overblown? – The future is about the collaboration between humans and these technologies.
– [Narrator] How we reactto this brave new world of work today will shapesocieties for generations to come.
For some people workis where the Wi-Fi is.
In the past two years, Samantha and Justin have lived and worked inmore than 20 countries.
– We started this year in South America.
We lived in Peru, in Santiago,Chile, Bariloche, Argentina.
– [Samantha] Croatia, Innsbruck, Austria,- Austria.
– [Samantha] Portugal, Italy, Norway.
– [Justin] Which was really pretty.
– [Samantha] And then wewere on Reunion Island for two months.
– [Justin] Off of Madagascar.
– Yes and when we werethere everyone was, like, "How in the world didyou find this place?" – "How did you find this place?" – [Narrator] Nut throughout their travels, Justin and Samantha haveeach been holding down a job.
He runs a digital creative agency and she works for aCalifornia based startup.
They're a very moderncarnation of a very old idea.
They're digital nomads.
– Thank you.
– [Narrator] Today, peopleworking remotely around the globe like this number in the millions.
– A lot of people that definethemselves as digital nomads move around very, very frequently.
But we typically move aroundat least once a month.
– [Narrator] The couplesay the extraordinary recent advances in digital technology allow them to keep exploring the world without compromising their careers.
– [Justin] We rent anapartment, we set up an office, we're not on vacation.
We live pretty normal lives.
And so it gives us theopportunity to kind of integrate and become locals.
And try on different flavors of life.
– [Narrator] There are downsides to this liberating grand tour of new cultures and horizons.
Digital nomads sometimeshave to be more nomadic than they might like.
– [Samantha[ Just out of Curiosity, I wonder what the Visa policy is.
– [Narrator] Location independent workers as they're also known oftentravel on tourist Visas and are usually restricted to a maximum of a few months in each country.
– So, Fiji, we need togo to so that we can get out of New Zealand beforewe violate their Visa policy.
– [Narrator] But some countriesare going out of their way to attract this newbreed of global worker.
Estonia is about to launch a special Visa, allowing them to stay for a year.
With other countries set to follow suit, some predict there could be a billion location independent workers by 2035.
For those with no ties, itall points to an increasingly borderless brave new world of work centered around the digital revolution.
– [Justin] And it sounds extravagant.
But we don't need much to beable to work and be productive.
If you're smart aboutit, I think that travel can be a long term sustainable lifestyle.
And it's not that crazy.
– [Narrator] Of the more than60 million Americans who work over 50 million are employees.
They work for somebody else.
– [Narrator] In the middleof the 20th century, many workers in the rich world, expected a job for life in one place.
But today frequent jobchanges are not unusual and 70% of professionals around the globe do some work remotely.
These seismic changes areleading to continual reinventions of that most traditionalworkplace, the office.
In San Francisco,entrepreneur Frank Boulier is starting his daily journey to work.
– Have to move from myroom, go down the stairs to my office space.
I would say it's a dream commute, yeah.
– [Narrator] Frank's partof an emerging trend, living and working with otherpeople in the same place.
– When I move from onespace to the other space I switch from living to working.
– [Narrator] The space, runby a company called Roam includes meeting rooms, relaxation areas and even a cocktail bar.
It caters to the more exclusive end of the global coworking market.
– You get to meet amazing people from all across the worldand I find that exciting.
The vibe is less office, more professional commune.
And the residents are glad at the chance for some digital detox.
– We're all tethered to our cell phones and we're all tethered to technology and I think that what's unique about Roam is that it builds community and it builds a communal living style that allows us sort of to unplug at times.
– [Narrator] This kind ofcommunal living might have niche appeal right now but2.
3 million people worldwide already share coworkingspaces and there are signs these make for more productive workers.
The Harvard BusinessReview found that nearly nine out of 10 coworkers felt happier than in their previous place of work.
And over 80% felt moreengaged and motivated.
– I've never been more productive even though I do less hours.
Would I ever go back totraditional corporate nine to five? No.
– [Narrator] Technology isalso changing how people work and live in poorer countries.
Kibera, Kenya, Africa's largest slum.
Work here is scarce.
The average wage is lessthan two dollars a day.
Joseph Kamau grew up here.
– This is my first computer.
– [Narrator] Two yearsago he was scraping by as a street hawker selling food.
But today, Joseph is making a new living as a paid up member ofthe global gig economy, the labor market whereself employed workers are paid to do short term freelance tasks.
– For me, a person living here in Kibera how would I have gotten ajob for a person in America? – [Narrator] He gets up to10 part time jobs a week entering data for clientsbased all around the world.
– It's an amazing thing to beliving in this digital age.
– [Narrator] Joseph works inarguably the fastest growing segment of the gig economyknown as The Human Cloud.
Some of the jobs that used to be done by white collar workersin wealthier countries are now broken down into individual tasks.
These are advertisedonline and carried out by remote workersscattered across the globe.
This Human Cloud industryis worth an estimated $50 billion dollars a year.
Now the Kenyan Governmentis training one million young people for thisnew digital workforce.
And helping them is theoutsourcing firm Samasource.
– Brands have includedGoogle, eBay and Microsoft.
– [Narrators] Freelancershere work on a range of digital servicesincluding image tagging for artificial intelligence.
– [Woman] We're trainingcars to drive themselves.
– I know, right?- Yeah, it's funny.
I don't even have a car but we are working on projects on selfdriving different cars.
– [Narrator] Some fear that theflow of digital service jobs from rich countries to poorer ones could push down wages globally.
But for many people herethe new opportunities offer a way out of poverty.
– I mean, someone sittingin the U.
might say a job like this is notpaying a living wage but for us it reallygives us an opportunity to be able to bring someof these young people into the digital ageand the digital economy.
– [Narrator] Since workingin The Human Cloud, Joseph has been able to movehis family out of the slum.
– I'm gonna join university next semester.
I'm gonna do computerscience, my dream course.
– [Narrator] In wealthier countries, some workers see the gig economy as less of an opportunityand more of a threat.
Max Dewherst is a delivery cyclist for a British courier firm who campaigns for workers' rights.
– How many jobs am I gonna do today? Am I gonna do 18 jobs or 30 jobs? On days when it's very slow we're not gonna make enough money to live.
– [Narrator] Many onlineplatforms, those intermediaries between customers and gigworkers don't cap the number of freelances that clock on each day.
This can flood the market,ramping up competition and slashing earnings.
– It creates a kind of dog eat dog world and a very competitiveworld amongst the workforce.
– [Narrator] Somecompetition amongst workers is healthy for consumers.
But Max has a more fundamental complaint, that basic employmentrights such as sick pay and job protection are deniedto most gig economy workers.
– They don't have any ability to set the price of their labor.
They don't have any abilityto negotiate with the client.
They have zero protection.
Of course people like flexibility but that shouldn't come at the expense of everything that's ever been fought for for the last 200 years.
– [Man] Those people have money.
They have millions in their accounts.
– [Narrator] Max continuesthat fight as Vice President of The Independent WorkersUnion of Great Britain.
– And I said, well, it'sonly impossible until we win.
– [Narrator] The union ismounting legal challenges against large companiesoperating in the gig economy.
– We've taken a number ofcourier companies to Tribunal from CitySprint, eCourier,Addison Lee and Excel and now we're taking on delivery as well.
– [Narrator] To criticslike Max the lack of rights offered to workers in the gigeconomy by big contractors is rapacious capitalism thatwill increase inequality.
– There are loads and loads of people on these bogus contracts.
We see it more and morespreading into other sectors, cleaning, retail, banking.
And that's very worrying.
– [Narrator] Amid heightenedconcerns about job security some workers are facing new pressures to become more efficient and productive.
But what lengths is itacceptable for companies to go to to achieve this? In Boston, Massachusettsworkers at this firm are being closely watched.
Their every conversation is analyzed.
Their every move monitored.
– This is our Humanyze sociometric badge.
– [Narrator] Their employer,Humanyze has designed surveillance technology to gather data about how they spend their time at work.
– So, it knows if I'mspeaking or not speaking.
It knows if I'm moving,whether I'm walking around or just sitting at my desk during the day.
It knows generallywhere I am in the office and it also can tell my proximity to other people wearing badges.
– [Narrator] Informationfrom employees' emails and calendars is integrated with data collected by their badges.
– We have a number of sensors in them, Bluetooth that's able todo location in the office.
Microphones look at how much I talk.
Motion sensor to look atposture, overall activity levels.
– [Narrator] The companysays it uses this data to improve the productivityof it's workers and their work environment.
– I see interactions withinmy team, how many of my teammates did I interactwith in a week or a month? The same gender or the other gender.
And I can see my dominancein conversations.
The green is my speakingtime versus the blue which is when I'm listening.
I use this data as a way to optimize my work experience.
– [Narrator] Humanyze sellsits surveillance technology to companies around the globe.
And with more than 10,000 people now wearing it's badges worldwide, business is starting to boom.
– Because now we have all thisquantitative data coming in, we're able to understandat an unprecedented level.
– [Narrator] This kind ofsurveillance technology is raising fears about workers' welfare and rights to privacy.
A British report found that 70% of workers believe workplace monitoring will become more common in the future.
Over 60% believe it will fueldistrust and discrimination.
Humanyze says it anonymizesand aggregates data and doesn't record thecontent of conversations.
But other tech companiesare developing ever more intrusive ways to monitor workforces, including micro chippingstaff and photographing them at their desks using webcams.
– I mean, there's legitimate concerns around this kind of data whenit comes to, for example, could your boss look at what your doing minute by minute in the organization.
Can they look at whatyou're writing in emails and things like that? At some point someonewill do the wrong thing with this kind of data.
– [Narrator] But in theminds of many people there's an even greater threat to the workforce of the future.
And it comes from a new breed of worker, one that is relentlessly efficient, works round the clock and never complains.
Robots and artificial intelligence are increasingly part of many industries.
Machines will soon take thewheel from truck drivers.
And companies are turningto new types of robots for mass production of food.
– New worries about robots taking jobs.
– [Narrator] Automation is set to cause mass disruption to working lives.
– [Reporter] As artificial intelligence and automation grow by leaps and bounds.
– Could lead to 45% ofcurrent jobs disappearing.
– [Narrator] But howjustified is this wave of automation anxietysweeping across the world? Are hundreds of millions of workers really heading for a jobless future? In a warehouse in SouthernEngland, the dystopian vision of a fully automated futureappears to have arrived.
This swarm of robots is packinggroceries for British firm Ocado, one of the world's most technologically advanced online retailers.
Here, collaboration is key.
– These robots are being orchestrated by a sophisticated pieceof machine learning.
It's a bit like an airtraffic control system.
They collaborate with oneanother, so, if a robot wants to pick a bin that's fourth down in a given stack ofbins, it just gets three of it's friends or colleaguesto move the top three bins out of the way and thenit grabs the one it wants.
– [Narrator] But the robotshere aren't working together to replace humans,they're working with them.
The robots take containersof products to pick stations where people put the orders together.
– I think the job is a lotless taxing on us physically.
The robots themselves are very efficient.
So, they take a lot of the grunt work out.
They're our little helpers.
– [Narrator] What's more,Ocado say these robots have actually createdmore jobs at the company than existed before.
– None of the 13,000people that work for Ocado would have a job, myself included, if it wasn't for what we dowith technology and automation.
As we've found new waysto automate processes, the number of people working for Ocado has only ever increased because of the ongoinggrowth of the business.
– [Narrator] A growing body of research suggests artificialintelligence and machines could create at least asmany jobs as they displace.
One report estimates thatwhile 75 million jobs will be lost globally by 2022, there could be 133 million new ones.
– We are on a journeyto go on finding ways to add automation butit's about teaching people to be more adaptablein terms of their jobs and their skill setsbecause the future is about the collaboration betweenhumans and these technologies.
– [Narrator] Disruption toworking lives is inevitable.
And insecurities will persist.
How bosses, workers and governments respond to these challenges will determine whetherthis new working landscape lives up to it's enormous promise.