When Frank Lloyd Wright unveiled The Johnson Wax building, he set a new standard for the workplace. No more dirty old factories; it was the dawn of the cubicle, with orderly rows and an orderly environment. Work was a formal place and the expectations of the boss were crystal clear. There was a hierarchy of rank, and management was exacting and fastidious (Godin, 2009).

The new workplace is not like that. It is informal and office complexes are closing. It is a simple case of economics. Traditional offices are disappearing because of their own economic weight. The employer no longer has to pay you to commute to a building to sit at a computer screen all day. In fact, they may not have to pay you at all. There is a global workforce and people in India and Botswana who would be happy to have your job for far less pay. Work is being auctioned off to the lowest bidder and that makes for a lot more workplace stress. Everyone and everything can be outsourced, especially if the price is right. Everything is traceable and measurable. After all, it is all-digital. Your employer knows when you are working, exactly what you are working on, with whom you connect, and when you are connected. If it can be measured, it will be measured. As management guru Peter Drucker said, if you want to manage it, you have to measure it.

There is no room for fluff or people who are not essential to the business. Are you an essential employee? You are if you bring in business, manage customers, clients or fans, or keep the virtual community functioning. Along with the talents and skills of designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and technicians, the virtual workplace needs talented communicators. These are people who can bring people together. These are people who can get results in the virtual environment (Capurro & Pingle, 2002).

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