The coffee shop is the future of . . . well, everything
This sounds and looks good, it’s just that I believe this scenario will only be possible for a small minority. Either that or working there as a barista.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
The future of work, pretty obviously, will include more and more of us moving out of our cubes and into coffee shops and coworking spaces. With the technology to get your job done from nearly anywhere, why tie yourself to a soul-crushing, gas-guzzling commute and a rigid nine-to-five schedule? Plus, plenty of experts tell us, more and more folks are becoming independent contractors who won’t even have a corporate base to flee from. But are there any other areas of life that will become less like we know them now and more like the current cafe experience?
Yes, says lawyer and futurist Stephen T. Gordon on the blog the Speculist recently. Gordon agrees with the chorus of voices saying offices will become coffee shops, saying:
We’re going back to the future: the modern office was birthed in 17th century coffee shops. Steven Johnson has argued that coffee fueled the enlightenment. It was certainly a more enlightening beverage than the previous choice of alcohol.
The need for offices grew as the equipment for mental work was developed starting in the late 19th centuries. That need appears to have peaked about 1980. It was a rare person who could afford the computers, printers, fax machines, and mailing/shipping equipment of that time.
Now a single person with $500 can duplicate most of those functions with a single laptop computer. So the remaining function of the office is to be that place that clients know to find you. . . . Groups for one project will form and then disband and then reform with new members for the next project. What will that workplace look like? Probably closer to Starbucks than Bob Par’s cubicle.