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A place to share experiences in building Software-as-a-Service.

The Future of the workplace

by Sebastien Mirolo on Tue, 7 Feb 2012

I work from my house, as well as several coffee shops next door, and client's labs once in a while. When you are in a software development industry, you can pretty much work from anywhere as long as you can connect to the Internet. I recently attended an event at Rocketspace presented by Podio and Liquidspace. While Podio can feel like a generic tool, check out Screenlight (featured in Zencoder blog). Screenlight is a good example of an enabler of distributed workplaces for a very specific market, in this case the market of video screening.

The two presentations embody the themes of "Who is working in your company vs. Who is working with your company" and "People are leaving work to get work done". The numbers show companies downsizing towards less than 100 square feet per employee. Relying on a growing contingent workforce drove the message home. The examples were very concrete and useful to understand as to how it relates on a day-to-day basis. One of the examples that I was intrigued by was the concept of hotels upgrading their lobbies as shared office space.

The trends conveyed in Podio's and Liquidspace's presentations are real-life consequences of the shift towards a knowledge-based economy. Just as what John Brunner predicted in his fiction book, Shockewave Rider (1975):

"After the legs race, the arms race.
After the arms race, the brain race."
- John Brunner