I was recently amused (and a little mystified) to read this article in the Guardian, written by futurologist Nicola Millard, discussing her prediction of a new type of business model: the coffice.
For those luddites amongst you: that’s when someone works in a coffee shop rather than an office: hence ‘the coffice’. The closing line of the article references the pubffice – a vision I approve of wholeheartedly. Here in Australia, it could even be the beachfice or parkfice too!
I do find this concept amusing, because I can imagine a range of people who would share my delight of the idea of working in a coffice. However, I can imagine that many people might also question the benefits of mobile working. Common sense must prevail and recognise that the current technology means that the pub, the coffee shop, the home, the car – frankly anywhere – can now be the office, and that work does not require an office block, desk and monitor. It makes perfect sense to me that the cloud enables those who work from home, are mobile (like sales people), or are ‘on call’, to be located anywhere they have an internet connection.
Within the contact centre space, we’re seeing home-based contact centre agents becoming more common within certain sectors and work-cultures; such as fund-raising, counselling or specialist services. Cloud makes the practice efficient and practical, and evidence shows that it works.
It’s unlikely that that mobile or home based contact centre agents will ever be the norm, but the evidence that the model works is increasingly giving some companies food for thought.
I can see immediate opportunities for people like counsellors, specialist health professionals or expert technicians who work on call to be contactable via a contact centre. Cloud enables this, with a minimum of hassle, risk, and at lower cost. So the next time you’re lounging in the coffee shop and you see someone talking to themselves using a big or little screen, be impressed – because they might be a legitimate coffice worker!