Philip Stone and Robert Luchetti predicted in 1985 that Your office is where you are, anticipating that portable phones would disrupt office planning and design. Three years ago I worried about the future of companies like Herman Miller, who made "gorgeous and expensive stuff that people sit on and work at".
Now, with the release of the Public Office Landscape by Fuseproject for Herman Miller, one can see where the office is going. It isn't about standing or sitting, it's about moving.
The more people connect, the better they work.
Yves Behar of Fuseproject describes the thinking behind the system:
.... as a workforce, we’re less anchored than ever, craving an unprecedented MOBILITY. COLLABORATION is the new normal, and TECHNOLOGY is pervasive and ever–changing. People today work in flexible and fluid ways that defy traditional cubicles and conference rooms. We wanted to design a system that catches our space up to how we really wanted to work.
Variety is not a luxury
We believe having a variety of workspaces is not a luxury—it’s essential to productivity and engagement. We know that collaborative moments are more productive when they’re complimented by spaces to focus, and most traditional spaces go unused because they’re inconvenient.
A few months back I asked Mark Schurman of Herman Miller about the future of office furniture in the framework of the standing desk craze. His response backs up Behar:
As a trend the sit/stand issue has obviously picked up momentum in recent years, but in some ways it’s ironic as the primary concern (sedentary work styles) has also been shifting, with the miniaturization and mobility of technology, coupled with flatter organizations and more emphasis on collaboration, increasingly leading knowledge workers to spend less time at a personal workstation..... This doesn’t mean standing work/desks are inappropriate, but it does suggest that at least for many it is perhaps less of an issue than it might have been 5+ years ago when most people were tethered to individual workstations by their technology needs.
As computers get lighter and smartphones smarter, we are getting a lot closer to a world where your office is where you are.