What Your Office Will Look Like in 2022: Five Predictions


Image courtesy of dboyfotopages

Technology doesn’t advance gradually -- it explodes exponentially. Each generation of technology is used to build and design the next generation, that tech is used to create the next advancements, and so on.

In short: Technology keeps getting better, faster.

Take your average, nine-to-five office environment. There probably wasn’t that big of a difference between the typical office of 1982 versus that of 1972. Perhaps copying machines did away with carbon paper, and electronic typewriters replaced analog ones. But, hairstyles aside, a worker from 1972 magically transported into 1982 wouldn’t feel that out of place.

Now, imagine some average cubicle jockey from 1982 was cryogenically frozen and reanimated 10 years later to find themselves in 1992. This time traveler would find their new environment mostly familiar, but peppered with some wild new advancements. In this new world nestled between Cheers and Seinfeld, every employee has their own personal computer complete with futuristic full-color display, and access to a primordial version of something called the “world wide web.”

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Now, imagine that our friend, Frozen McFreezyface, is reanimated another 10 years later and awakens in 2002. He discovers filing cabinets are far less common, and workflows are now nearly exclusively handled digitally via small, sleek computers. The majority of communications occur via a strange messaging service called “electronic mail.”

On the occasions that people do have actual conversations, they take place over tiny, wireless telephones small enough to fit in your pocket. And these Star Trek tricorders aren’t just for the tycoons of the day, as they were less than a decade previously, but are affordable enough for the everyman.

If our 1982 friend somehow got lost in the frozen-worker-program bureaucracy and wasn’t reawakened until 2012, they would find themselves in a supremely alien environment. Now people connect with friends and business associates in online forums. They use exotic new vocabularies and #StrangeGrammaticalConventions. Some employees work at home by connecting to their office through powerful (but quite affordable) personal computers, many of which appear to be little more than flattened computer screens operated by touch.

But say our freeze-dried co-worker was frozen for another 10 years and woke up in 2022? What strange workplaces might they find then?

Click through our slideshow for some glimpses of our inevitable future officescape.

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Evan Dashevsky is the Editor of Bundle.com, follow him @haldash