The Harvard Business Review Blog Network published a post from Anne Kreamer about The Rise of Coworking Office Spaces on the 19th that describes a trend that combines a combination of traditional office leasing provided by companies like Regus together with the Open Floor plans that many Agile development teams use (if you are a client see my note on Agile Spaces or look at my earlier posts on the topic). Kreamer notes that Coworking spaces provide the following benefits
- collaborative networks and an ecosystem
- fostering innovation
- simplify starting a business
This last bullet emphasizes the current prime use for such working arrangements a collaborative think tank that provide not only the infrastructure but also the people to bounce ideas off, validate legal issues, etc. While there will be no dramatic shift I do expect to see a continued evolution of our working spaces and Kreamer notes;
It’s just one of the many ways that companies are capitalizing on flexible workspaces for a flexible workforce — a trend we can all expect to see more of in the future.
Gone are the days of the pension and the battle for the corner office. Going away are also the tyranny of a business hierarchy. Which brings to recollection a product naming email thread from many years ago during my product management days in the Smalltalk market. Richard Gabriel railed against the marketing organization for the product name VisualWorks as a name that connoted business buyers wanted to purchase a product that told their developers they were there to work and that we may as well call it Visual Gulag. While you might not think of work in such terms, there is no doubt that the way we work, and the things we value as well as what our companies value in us will continue to evolve. This means a continued move to enhance cross-discipline collaboration and open spaces with loosely defined project team boundaries in a drive to find innovation and exploit business opportunities.