The Office of the Future
I met with a new colleague today for lunch and took her on a little tour of one of our “Cisco Connected Workplaces” – which is kind of our version of an office of the future. It very much resembles a newsroom in a newspaper. There is collaborative space, some quiet rooms, and individual workstations that are very close to one another. We didn’t see any individual offices. It maximizes space and colleague interaction and takes advantage of wireless and IP technology to make each and every employee more collaborative and productive (or, at least that is the pitch). It hasn’t yet been implemented on my team, but it is coming soon. My initial reaction is that I HATE IT!!After I got over my gut reaction for this coming change (actually, I’m still working on getting over it), I stepped back and thought about it a bit. I don’t like it because it is different from what I know. I like what I know, so, therefore, how can I like what I don’t know, right? The truth is that I didn’t like being in a cube when I first moved from my office in DC either. I got over it. Now that they want to move to this workspace I don’t like that either, but, I’m sure I’ll get over that too. The space that we toured today was clean…looked efficient…and while many people were there, it was respectfully quiet. True, not a lot of people were on the phone, but there were conference calls taking place in quiet rooms, so it reminded me a bit of the ol’ stacks in a library where people would study right next to each other and, gasp, fully function. I’ll write an update when we move to our new workspace, but I would be interested to hear how other workplace experiments are going.