Office work is going to end

Welcome to office work

Emerging technologies enabling equipment and machinery operation from great distances redefine the labor paradigm at the forefront of remote work and collaboration. This evolution is evident in highly specialized sectors, such as the remote operation of ships and military drone control, where work is performed from specific physical locations, challenging the conventional notion of 芦remote work.禄

This essay will explore how these innovations transform the work environment and highlight the critical importance of effective communication and collaboration.

Office Work

Marian Meza Chavira is learning to pilot underwater robots from a remote control centre. Source: BBC/Kevin Church


Robot Ship Operations

Ocean Infinity is at the forefront of remote vessel operation, with 23 vessels equipped with advanced sensors, servers, and additional information systems. These vessels, designed to carry out survey work in sectors such as offshore renewables and the oil industry, are operated from remote control centers hundreds of miles away, such as the one in Southampton.

Ocean Infinity’s 芦Armada禄 project showcases a fleet of remotely operated vessels designed for seabed surveys and infrastructure checks, demonstrating significant crew reduction compared to traditional ships.

Ocean Infinity’s vision is clear: to minimize the crew required onboard to make way for more automated and remotely directed operations. Not only does this innovation significantly reduce the number of personnel needed onboard vessels from the usual 40 to 50 personnel on vessels of this size to as few as 16, but it also poses challenges regarding team management and remote communication.

A telling anecdote arises when the crew and remote controllers attempt to perform a maneuver with the crane on deck: confusion over which 芦right禄 to take, that of the remote operator or that of the crewmember on the ship. This moment of confusion pointedly reflects the need for clear and accurate communication in remote work environments. Communication efficiency becomes a key pillar in this industry, and the vessel’s safe operations depend on precise instructions and real-time collaboration.

The Role of Technology in Remote Collaboration

Technology facilitates this remote collaboration, providing platforms and tools for teams to stay connected and coordinated. Control centers are equipped with advanced systems that replicate information on the ship, allowing operators to perform complex tasks from a distance.

Even if officers are not on deck, their eyes and ears on the ship are now many cameras and microphones that do not lose details of what is happening on the ship.

How do you know which way to turn? -We trust the team,禄 says the ship’s captain, sitting at her station surrounded by screens. Although physically remote, this work environment requires synergy and trust between team members, ensuring that every action is coordinated and efficient.

The joystick from Southampton commands the ship to turn to face the waves of the North Sea.

Beyond Navigation: Drones and Robotics

The officers and crew of these ships work 芦remotely禄 from offices full of screens and controls. But this job is not for you if you think of wellbeing-style offices with extensive gardens, large windows, and open spaces.

This phenomenon is not limited to shipping. In the military sector, drone pilots operate from remote bases, such as windowless barracks in the Nevada desert, controlling missions thousands of miles away.

The film 芦Good Kill禄 immerses us in the complex world of modern warfare, where drone pilots play a critical role from offices located thousands of miles from battlefields. This dramatization highlights a reality increasingly present in today’s military operations: the cockpit has been replaced by remote control stations, where pilots and operators direct critical missions from the safety of military installations, often located on home turf.

Similarly, other operators handle heavy machinery in mining and perform risky jobs through robots controlled from secure offices. These examples underline a growing trend towards jobs that, although remote, are anchored in effective collaboration and communication from specific physical facilities.

The growing demand for profiles capable of operating in collaborative environments, evidenced by the increase in job offers for drone pilots, underlines the importance of these skills in today’s job market.


Drones and remote work


Technology and Collaboration: Keys to Success

Effective collaboration and efficient verbal communication emerge as the most demanded skills for remote jobs. These skills are especially valued in environments where work is performed remotely but relies on coordination with a team that may be geographically dispersed.

The transition to remote and hybrid work models represents both a challenge and an opportunity to rethink how work is structured and how teams communicate and collaborate.

The anecdote of the remotely controlled ship serves as a powerful metaphor for the current challenge. While technology makes it possible to perform tasks from anywhere, the essence of success lies in the human ability to communicate and collaborate effectively.


Ocean Infinity’s journey toward an autonomous and remote navigation future highlights the limitless potential of remote work when combined with technological innovation and effective management. This approach not only enhances safety by reducing the need for personnel in hazardous environments but also opens new possibilities for marine exploration and resource utilization.

As we move towards an increasingly interconnected future, the lessons learned from remote ship navigation can guide the development of remote work practices in other sectors, emphasizing the importance of effective communication, collaboration, and adaptability.