It’s easier to do an office job outside an office than ever, and not only because a laptop and smartphone can go anywhere; there are now more than 780 co-working spaces in the U.S. alone, and it’s rare to find a coffee shop without Wi-Fi.
U.K. design student Julie Berdou has an idea for how to create even more options for mobile work: A network of tiny offices, called WW, that would be spread across a city, offering a spot to stop in for a few minutes and work while you’re on-the-go. Her design won a recent RSA Student Design Award.
"It responds to the needs of a younger workforce, Generation Y, and especially the mobile worker," says Berdou. "[It's] a work community that needs to connect with fellow workers and is less dependent on one definite work location or office."
The design is basically an updated and more stylish version of an Internet cafe, intended to encourage more interaction. The structure is a simple glass wall or cube, so everyone is visible while they work, like in a miniature version of the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City,
"As opposed to being tucked away by yourself at Starbucks, WW offers the opportunity to connect with fellow entrepreneurs while being 'out there' and seen by the public doing business," Berdou explains.
Large touch-screen computers project on the walls, and while someone catches up on a last-minute presentation or some email, they have the option to display a logo on the wall as advertising for their company. A simple birch table folds down in front of the wall for extra workspace.
Berdou envisions the mini-offices mapped out near well-traveled parts of a city, like subway stops, and possibly even directly on subway platforms. When someone got off a train, they could check an app to find the nearest office, and then pay a small fee to use it.
It's just a concept for now, though Berdou hopes to find a way to bring it to life.