“Workplace Flip” at WORKTECH11

May 2, 2011

I have been invited to give a talk at the upcoming WORKTECH 11 conference in New York City on May 18th. I would encourage any of you interested in the future of work to think about attending. The program looks quite interesting.

The theme of my talk was inspired by Open Wonderland community member Maggie Leber who pointed me at an article about the “Fisch Flip.” This article talks about flipping teaching on its head. In my talk, I’ll be talking about flipping the workplace on its head.

Those of you who have heard me speak before, have probably heard the story about how Dave Douglas, formerly Sun’s Chief Sustainability Officer, inspired us to start the Wonderland project in 2007 by challenging Sun’s engineering community to reduce the company’s real estate footprint by building the next building in the virtual world.

Dave Douglas in a physical office; Nicole's avatar in a virtual office.

Dave Douglas in a physical office; Nicole's avatar in a virtual office.

Four years later, I’d like to challenge people building physical workplaces to think differently about how that space is used. Instead of thinking about people’s primary office and team room being in the physical world, I’m suggesting they think of people’s primary place of business as being in the virtual world. I’d like them to imagine the physical space as a blank slate that people can plug into and immediately have their office or team room projected all around them. In the case of a team room, their teammates would also be projected around them. In this way, people can not only connect to their workplace from anywhere, they can connect to their workplace populated with people in an immersive, highly collaborative environment.


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