27 years ago, when infrared cordless phones were just becoming available, Philip Stone and Robert Luchetti predicted in the Harvard Business Review that the desk was dead and your office is where you are. With the huge growing sophistication of smart phones it's almost safe to say that these days "our desk is in our pants" and the prediction came through. An end of an era, people don't stay in one place.
Devices, furniture and people have moved from fixed to mobile. So now workplace "design" is as much about programming, services and amenities as it once was about cubicles and corner offices.
So how do combine office life with staying in contact with our collegues all over the globe these days?
Steelcase anwseres this question, by essentially turning the office into a home away from home, with the living room couch and a big home theatre setup. In Steelcase's information from NEOCON, they write:
Work is more global today and we need to interact with colleagues located all over the world. Meanwhile, video technology has grown rapidly and become more accessible — it’s portable, one-button simple and cheap. But we realized that the physical spaces for video conferencing haven’t kept pace with the technology. People would use video even more if the experience was more comfortable.
Steelcase projects that video will be the dominant form of communication. But they are not watching the kids, who multitask, who have twelve windows open on their computer, and are texting, all the time, it is the de facto means of communication.