Earlier this week, I was meeting with a friend who is very influential in the music business. I asked him what a rock star would look like in 15 years. He responded that a rock star in 15 years would be unrecognizable to me. He wouldn’t have a guitar in his hands and he likely wouldn’t be someone who wrote his own songs. He’d likely have a turntable or computer to generate his background music, which is bad news for my friends who are musicians.
But, then he turned the question back to me. What will office space look like in 15 years?
I started by taking a look backwards. When I started in the business almost 16 years ago, the offices looked similar to our offices today. There were private offices, conference rooms, cubicles, office supplies, etc.
However, not everyone had a computer on their desk. Believe it or not, there was a “community computer” that could be used on a shared basis. Some even used it to check their email. Since I wanted my own, I had to buy it, bring it to the office and set it up myself, as we didn’t have an “IT guy”.
Looking forward 15 years, believe it or not, I think it will resemble 1998 in one specific aspect. Not everyone will have a computer on their desk. In fact, many people will choose to buy their own technology and integrate with their company’s platform.
Last week, at an open house for The Green at Princeton, we gave away two Microsoft Surface devices which come with the full Microsoft Office suite of programs. We chose that device over the Chromebook because I believed it was better suited to today’s business needs. However, I am sure there are many people who would prefer to use Google’s platform over Microsoft.
While the bricks and mortar of the office buildings may remain the same, the biggest change we will continue to see is in the technology we use and how we use it. Email wasn’t something that everyone was comfortable with 15 years ago. Today, the millennials are said to be more comfortable with texting or communicating through social media platforms. I look forward to the day when conference calls are obsolete and replaced by video conferencing for many reasons, but that’s a story for another day.
What do you think office space will look like in 2029?