Henry Dewing
Henry Dewing has participated in every aspect of the telecommunications market. In addition to advising industry leaders as a management...
Read Full Bio >>

Henry Dewing | July 23, 2014 |


The Future of Work: Temporary and Co-Working Spaces

The Future of Work: Temporary and Co-Working Spaces Real estate developers will have to watch tenants and how they collaborate and innovate and see if technology can make it as good (or even better) than having them in the office.

Real estate developers will have to watch tenants and how they collaborate and innovate and see if technology can make it as good (or even better) than having them in the office.

Just because "work is something we do," doesn't mean it's not nice to have some place to go and do it occasionally. With the rise of mobile and distributed work teams, a lot of press has been dedicated to the "Coffice" – the coffee shop-office where road warriors go to connect, catch up, and restart their work processes while on the road.

I believe that in the future this will be the consumer version. You might stop at the coffice between soccer games during your teenager's out-of-town tournament, but real road warriors will be using co-work spaces – dedicated professional work spaces with guaranteed facilities and a more business-like atmosphere.

I see three distinct classes of these temporary office spaces in today's market: incubators, my first office, and temporary/overflow/remote space. The latest generation of these offices have a community manager (not an office manager ... how OLD school that would be!) who can do traditional tasks like summon IT assistance or an event caterer, but they also pull together programs of interest to the members of the community. Local arts, business, and music – as well as company-focused presentations like demos - are standard, but even hobbies like brewing beer are seen on the program for after-work education at some sites. There are literally millions of locations across the country, and I see them roughly falling into these three categories:

Incubators – Small spaces for early stage startups that are practically oozing creativity and innovation. In addition to offices, desks and business machines, these spaces are often associated with a technology luminary or serial entrepreneur, some private equity and venture capital assets, and even business consultants. 1776 in Washington DC and Acceleprise in DC and San Francisco are good examples

My First Office – A step beyond the incubator/accelerator, as businesses start to get up and running, they can move into a space with other like-minded companies. Sure, some startups are here (and some business nomads, too), so the vibe can get more "Mad Men" than "Silicon Valley" depending on the tenants and the landlord. Two examples of these types of co-work spaces are Carr Workplaces and WeWork.

Temporary Space – The traditional guys like Regus and YourOffice provide all manner and size of office space for temporary or permanent homes for your business, your employees, or your road warriors. There is even an equivalent of AirBNB for office space called HiRise

There are lots of players in this game, and not being a real estate guy, I am sure I am missing something. But I have been trying to figure out the collaboration technologies that these offices should have – I have been visiting a few and watching how people use technology.

What I see today is a lot of people either using a VoIP phone provided by the temporary office space or their cell phone. PCs and laptops are omnipresent, and I saw a few Web conferences in session on these BYOD platforms. (I am sure there are many more that I did not see or notice.)

What I don't see is a simple shared infrastructure to allow tenants to use the smart TVs that I saw in EVERY workspace as collaboration solutions. These small companies need to be able to effectively communicate, collaborate and innovate with their peers, customers, suppliers, partners, and the rest of their ecosystem. There is generally a plug in the middle of conference room tables that allows tenants to display their PC on the big screen (opening the door for shared Web conferencing experiences), but why not use the smart TVs to connect directly and enable open video and Web conferencing via the blazingly fast Internet connections that these office maintain?

What Should These Offices Do?
For Cisco shops, it is likely there is already a call manager somewhere that can connect to a SX10, which could then display HD video or data on the screen. A little network configuration to expose the address of the room externally, and some training on when, why, and how to use Jabber clients for community members, and the workspace now has voice, Web, and video conferencing capability from big screens and BYO devices as well.

Polycom RealPresence Group Series 500 comes with 4 port HD video conferencing capability with the codec, so hanging one behind that smart TV gives you open audio, Web and video conferencing as well as remote whiteboard capabilities with the Polycom VisualBoard. The same networking configuration considerations need to be taken into account. Throw in some training about Polycom's CloudAxis app for remote access and tenants at this office can be collaborating and innovating like a Fortune 50 in seconds.

Organizations with Microsoft Lync can do the same thing with a Lync Room System from Polycom, SMART (adding world class remote whiteboard capabilities) or Crestron. Using a familiar Microsoft user interface will simplify some of the user training – unless your tenants are Mac lovers! Vidyo offers the VidyoRoom HD 40 that will do similar tasks, as do several other vendors. A co-work space could even choose to simply enable a built-in Skype application on smart TVs from manufacturers including Samsung!

At the end of the day, real estate developers will have to do more of what I did – watch their tenants and how they collaborate and innovate with their ecosystem partners outside of the office and see if technology can make it as good (or even better) than having them in the office.


April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.