The Role of User Experience in a ‘Workplace Unplugged’

Welcome 2015. I remember when 2015 seemed so far away, yet here it is. Do you remember when you would wake up and you didn’t have a phone to check? You would arrive at the office and sit at your desk to work on your daily tasks. Do you remember going to a meeting room with a notepad and using an overhead projector to communicate your “slides” to colleagues in sheet after sheet of blue, black, green and red.

Now, I look around the office, café, shopping center or even the car and it seems like the desk, conference room and focus space are everywhere and anywhere – so long as the person has a device, connectivity and a headset. “Workplace has gone digital, employees based in an office can often take their work on the road, which provides opportunities to live closer to family, relocate to a new city, travel, or to simply work from home in your pajamas.” Space, has become whatever the user needs it to be for that specific activity at that specific time.

How did we get here? From being tethered to physical space, to becoming roamers with the freedom to set up our work-camp wherever we choose. By examining some common trends in workplaces that are embracing the “unplugged,” we can shed some light on how we acquired our freedom to roam.


When we say the word “wireless” most people think of wireless networks which clearly enable people to work from anywhere in the office or connect their mobile devices to move around easily. However, these are now being enabled further with wireless docking stations, wireless charging and wireless presenting. Wireless, is changing your day . You no longer have to make the conscious decision or action to “be connected” – you just are.


Each day sees the arrival of more and more devices that allow the roaming worker the freedom to move and to carry less with them. This then enables spaces to transform from one use to another. For example, with wireless phone charging the employee no longer needs to carry around that charger or hold their previous fears of being unproductive when their battery runs out. With wireless projectors, a bustling café can transform into a serious presentation area. With a headset that can connect to all of your devices, you can get up seamlessly during a call and move from your laptop to your phone without disconnecting. There is no need to be still and no need to stop, unless it is your own decision to do so.


A Push for Collaboration

We hear it time and time again. Collaboration brings better innovation and higher satisfaction. This philosophy is evident in “unplugged” companies whose offices are becoming collaboration hubs. However, the world created by wireless connectivity and these devices also paves the way for new needs, expectations and requirements in ensuring effective collaboration. In fact, if implemented correctly,…

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