After returning from the June NEOCON trade fair in Chicago I started to get a little puzzled about the future of office furniture and the way people work in offices. As far as I can see there is a growing trend towards people doing nothing. Not exactly doing nothing, but sitting around in comfy lounge chairs, drinking nice coffee, and chatting to each other. Sometimes some enthusiastic individual might hop up from his lounger and scribble a bit more creative waffle on the big white shiny wall.
Everyone else will nod meaningfully and continue chatting amiably. I’ve always wondered what value people really add when they work in an office anyway? How can someone type on a keyboard all day and make money? How can people meet together in a room, drink coffee and talk, and get paid for it? Then you get private focus areas, the modern version of the old cubicle and not far removed from an office bed, it is essentially the ideal place to park up if you have a hangover.
With new phrases like start-up culture, coworking, interactive group dynamic, Collaboration is the new telecommuting, and even social desking, we are left to draw the conclusion that genuine old work is on the back burner. The future is sure to involve a large portion of socialising, a small portion of doing, and an entirely different office environment.
Allowing people to collaborate easily (lounge around and do not much), apparently translates to a competitive advantage in modern businesses?