Sunday, April 27, 2008

Office 2.0, do you need it?

We are working on an office 2.0 workspace was the sentence I was welcomed with a couple of days ago during a visit to a pub where a friend of mine was waiting to have some after-work drinks. My only reaction could naturally be, “euhhh nice I guess?”

Office 2.0 turned out to be all about employee 2.0 and company 2.0 and employer 2.0 and this is now all possible because of web 2.0 and the needs from generation Einstein… This was the explanation if was getting accompanied with a grin like “you must get it now”. Well it took me a little longer than this single sentence. Finally after some beers I was getting the point.

Office 2.0 is a new way of sharing information, and in this the point of comparing it to web 2.0 is quite correct. Web 2.0 is a new way of sharing and collaborating on the web. In the days of web 1.0, so to say, we received most of the information now we are creating most of the information ourselves and sharing this on wiki-pages, weblogs, websites, p2p networks, instant messaging networks and community networks like linkedin.com and facebook.com. Office 2.0 is where companies start understanding that sharing information within a company by using all those tools can be vital for success. The new generation of people who start to work today are used to having those tools and most companies do not have things like a wiki in place to share information.

So the sentence of “We are working on an office 2.0 workspace” was referring to building and deploying those tools on the company’s intranet to make the new generation of employees happy. Put this besides the fact that most employees have a laptop nowadays and have a mobile phone which they also can use to access data this can be a big advantage. Not having your own desk is in a large number of corporation’s normal, you get in find a free spot and plug-in your laptop.

Now, I have been thinking about a little more and I was thinking about how do I want to have my personal workspace, how do I want it now and how do I want it in the coming years, and I will give it some thoughts about how much do I want to company I currently work for spend on this…. Even more important, how much is the company, I currently work for, willing to invest into this. And is it needed?

Do I need a wiki to share things with my colleges? Could be, could be handy to share information and code. I might even think of installing one… in combination with CVS. Do we need a instant messaging tool?.... could be, however, we are already using MSN for this… now all those fancy other things… sorry do not need them. It might be handy if you are working for a large company where you do not know all the people in the company but for a small or medium sized business… send a e-mail every Friday morning stating that there will be a meeting with beers and some developers will show the latest tricks they found and you have your office2.0 completed. So you do not have to spend a large budget, at least we do not have to spend a large budget, we can just simply start a wiki and get going.

Now we can start talking about a good working environment… nice desks, fancy stuff….. Well currently I do have a great laptop, UMTS card, mobile phone, a Sun Netra server under my desk, fat-boy close-by and a football somewhere around my desk… a lot of junk and books around me… just the way I like it. I have to admit I hate clean-desk policy and stuff like that… To be honest I like a desk like the pictures below…. Just think about that… and no this is not my home-office desk or work desk… I will try to make some pictures about that for a upcoming post, just to entertain you guys.

(Above)Al Gore in his office (Steve Pyke for Time).


(above) Kevin Rose at his desk

(above) desk from Dave Bouwman from davebouwman.net


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