Home office: Steve Jobs recognized the potential back in 1990

Apple founder Steve Jobs in the early 1990s.

Apple founder Steve Jobs in the early 1990s.

AP Photo / Ben Margot, File)

Steve Jobs wasn’t just a pioneer of the PC revolution. The Apple founder also had the extraordinary ability to anticipate future developments and trends in the technology and work world. And often years or even decades before these changes became apparent to normal consumers.

It is hardly surprising, then, that Jobs thought thirty years ago that home office and remote work would one day become the everyday life of employees. An experience that many are only now experiencing – in the wake of the Corona crisis.

Jobs: Changes in the world of work require electronic organization by companies

The journalist Jon Erlichman drew attention to the job forecast. He posted a snippet from an interview with Jobs on Twitter. The online magazine “t3n” also reported on the video recorded in 1990.

The video shows the young Steve Jobs, who explains that it is often not possible for companies to adapt their internal structures quickly and effectively to changing business conditions. The geographical organization of a company can also cause problems in this regard. “We can’t move people across the country every week,” Jobs said in the interview.

The solution was an electronic organization of companies, Jobs continued in the interview. “When we start connecting computers with sophisticated networks and great user interfaces, we can organize people into groups that work on a common task. […] These fifteen people can work together extremely efficiently regardless of their geographic location. ”

In 1990 the Internet was still largely unknown

Jobs explains that technology-enabled communication between colleagues, known as interpersonal computing, is the next revolution in the field of desktop computers. Only with the help of such an electronic organization is it possible for a company to “keep pace with changes in the world of work”.

Jobs’ statements are all the more remarkable when you consider that the Internet was just one year old at the time of the interview – only 0.5 percent of the world’s population was online at the time. It wasn’t until three years after the interview, in 1993, that the World Wide Web was made public. The fact that thought leaders such as Jobs recognized the potential of home office and remote work so early and developed technologies in the following years with which we can now do our work over long distances without any problems is particularly beneficial to us in crisis situations such as the present.


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