Though we chafe the treatment of workers during the industrial revolution, I wonder how far we've come when so many people slog through bad meetings, suffer through terrible commutes, and hurt their health at work (white collar workers have a different set of health issues than say, a coal miner...but still).
Do we make these sacrifices because we're convinced this is the best work life possible, having weighed the costs and benefits, and knowing all of the possible options? Or do accept it, yet long for change like no more performance reviews*, unlimited vacation, no more time-wasting meetings, flexible hours, working from home, more than one training per year, or anything other than the traditional uninventive package based around the 40-hour workweek?
Going in the other directions, how much have companies adapted to the post-industrial age or are companies still using old models that don't work? Are companies changing now? What's at stake if organizations don't change? Loyalty? Talent? Awesome products?
I don't think anyone discusses these issues better than Peter Merholz's talk "Why Business Must Be Human". So get some popcorn (or beef jerky if you are doing low carbs) and enjoy this talk.
Also here's an discussion of his talk, if you prefer.