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Episode 536: The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck

A typical UPS truck is tracked by hundreds of sensors. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, file)

Note: This episode originally aired inMay, 2014.

In a lot of ways, the job looks the same as ever — the brown truck, the barking dogs, the lady coming out to apologize about the barking dogs.

Underneath the surface, though, Bill Earle's job as a driver for UPS has changed a lot. When Bill started back in the '90s, he was a guy out there by himself, alone in a truck on an empty road. UPS was a trucking company.

Today, it's a technology company. Every step Bill takes, every mile he drives, is tracked. His truck is a rolling computer. From the time he punches in in the morning until he gets back to base at night, the company is watching. The company is also constantly thinking, and strategizing about even the most minute decisions and choices. UPS wants to figure out how Bill can do his job a little bit faster, a little more efficiently, right down to which pocket he uses to hold his pen.

Technology means that no matter what kind of job you have — whether you're alone in a truck on an empty road or sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer — your company can now track everything you do.

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