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The more things change...

In 1994, the advertising agency Chiat/Day launched a program called the Virtual Office, where the employees didn't get a desk and chair of their own, but had to find an open seat when they came to work and log on. The theory that Jay Chiat had was that this would encourage his ad execs to be on the move, and the office paradigm was outdated and useless. With cellular phones and portable computers, who really needed an office anyhow?

He was wrong. In 1998, the virtual office experiment was abandoned and Chiat/Day moved back into a normal office. Nobody liked the hunt for a desk, it became a big joke among the other ad agencies, and they finally gave up on making people do things that were unnatural.

Now, Scott McNealy of Sun has a similar idea, named iWork. Using smart terminals with server-based programs and data storage, McNealy expects to double the number of people per office. Wonder if he ever reads Wired or AdAge?

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
thimbel
Aug. 16th, 2002 03:41 pm (UTC)
Its an interesting idea.

I don't think i would like hunting for a desk either, and i do like to add my own touches to my desk, whiteboard, wall, etc. I suppose you couldn't have pictures, a coffee mug on your desk, leave any of your work on your screen overnight?

This is definetly not something creative types would be in favor of!
andysocial
Aug. 16th, 2002 04:40 pm (UTC)
Creative types
That's why it was such a miserable failure for an ad agency. The Chiat/Day folks would get assigned a locker like they were in high school, and they'd grab whatever flat surface was available. Bizarre idea.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )