We, in our office, with boxy and cranky Intel 486s, wondered: Is this what the future looks like? Would this be the norm if Wi-Fi was to become widely available? Would we be able to sit in cafes and work, instead of cramped offices? Can we actually carry laptops around, instead of having to chain them to internet cables? The latter-the open office-was meant to resolve the problems of the former, but ended up creating chaotic workplaces where concentrating on work became difficult. The office of the future will have separate spaces to collaborate, unwind, conduct focussed meetings, and to ideate. Each will be designed according to specific requirements, and, instead of designated desks to sit at, employees will sit wherever their work takes them. “Employees will increasing say, ‘Let me work where I want to, how I want to, when I want to’. What will matter is the work getting done.” Mathur predicts the rise of the “Social office” that will see a lot more interaction among colleagues. “Co-working spaces make it possible for startups to have a good office address and a brand culture, instead of working out of their bedrooms.” Larger companies are also likely to tell their employees to go to their closest space to work rather than travel 20 km to the office. Mathur even predicts the rise of community hubs, where people from similar and allied industries will work together, leading to a greater exchange of ideas.
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