Maybe this is news to precisely no one, but it’s just occurred to me that today’s offices would be completely unrecognisable to someone from a century ago. According to my calculations, that means the offices of 100 years from now – assuming we’re still around by then – will be completely different again. 

Why? Because of technology. Just as our predecessors in the twentieth century couldn’t have anticipated the demise of paper-based offices, we surely can’t imagine what types of devices people will be working from in the future. Like, there might not even be computers in 3020, at least not in the way we know them today. Maybe they’ll be, like, composed of swarms of hovering nanobots. Who can say?

I have some ideas in mind, but I’m no office design expert. Melbourne industrial design nerds, do you have any thoughts to share? Will we have weightless workstations that combat the sedentary nature of desk work? Will we cordlessly interface our brains to some kind of cloud-based neuro pool? Or will the whole concept of an office simply be defunct, now that AI can do information-based work better than us?

Here in Melbourne, office space fitouts may already be anticipating the future. I mean, when was the last time you saw a USB in use? Everything’s on the cloud now. Some people at my office don’t even have a computer; they just make garbled voice notes into their phones and some kind of wizardry files it in a coherent manner. Either that, or they’re being paid to mumble a bunch of mumbo-jumbo into the ether. It’s hard to tell.

One thing I could really go for is sound-bubble technology. Anyone who works in an office will surely know what I’m talking about. It’s an invisible bubble that hovers around you like a force field, and blocks incoming sounds from the environment – unless, like, someone wants to speak to you, in which case they just do a voice command to unlock sonic access.