Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

Fast Forward 2005: 7 - 11

The future is something to get excited about again. Here's our look at the surprising people, ideas, and trends that will change how we work and live in 2005.

Spotlight: Cubicle Culture

Life in the water-cooler world in 2005

Item What it is Our take
7. Tiered work spaces An office plan in which the height of the floor increases the farther you are from a window, so more desk denizens can enjoy sunshine. Natural light equals happy workers. But watch out for your shins.
8. Max Barry's Company A satiric novel due out next fall featuring a company "so huge that nobody who works for it knows what it actually does." Stir into motion the angle-players, bureaucrats, and suck-ups after merciless layoffs. Let the follies begin. Barry's cult novels Syrup and Jennifer Government established him as a gifted business satirist. Expect more informed viciousness about the hierarchies we endure.
9. Conference room cafe Sitting down in a conference room immediately creates a hierarchy, and big projectors emphasize content over people. Solution: Barstool-like seats replace chairs to foster egalitarianism, and mini-displays replace a single screen. If you want to collaborate, you need a conducive environment. So our meeting spaces copy the best ideas from our social hangouts like cafes and bars. The usual, bartender!
10. Desk-friendly food Cup-holder food is passe. Expect to see products designed to be eaten at our desk. Lender's, for example, has a single bagel with cream cheese, knife, and napkin, all in the same pack. IT departments, already used to degunking keyboards, shudder. Will keyboards start to feature a toaster-oven-style crumb tray?
11. Granny chic Casual is out, bare skin is out; tweed, pearls, and brooches are in. Look on the bright side: No more uncomfortable conversations with coworkers whose low-rise jeans don't rise quite enough.

Previous | Next

Add New Comment