Having a robot greet you at the door of Elance’s Mountain View, Calif., offices is a little strange at first. Especially when you consider that the robot’s “voice” is being spoken by someone — in Michigan.
Getting permission from someone thousands of miles away to walk through a door three feet in front of me may seem inefficient, but broadband erases geography. For Elance President and CEO, Fabio Rosati, having a robot is win/win. He doesn’t have to hire a full-time receptionist, and his two robo-ceptionists found the part-time gig they were looking for. While this bot didn’t clean up like The Jetsons’ Rosie, Rosati thinks robots are definitely in the cards for many companies. He’ll be speaking at our upcoming Net:Work conference for a broader discussion on this very topic, but we couldn’t wait and asked him to shake his Magic 8-Ball and give us a sneak-peek in a video interview on where he thinks the future of work is headed. Some highlights from our conversation:
- Improvements in telepresence and robotics will increase the viability of remote part-time workers
- Biometrics will play a big part in making sure who you hire is who is doing the work
- Virtual workplaces will mimic real-world environments to provide structure for employers and scattered workers