The Home-office is not the whole story

These days the internet is full of suggestions and advice about how to make your home-office setup more ergonomic, chicer, more effective, more this or that…

I know work is a big part of our life so home-office being front and center is fine, but there are other parts of home and life too. These other parts seem a little overlooked now. But that’s where, maybe just maybe, we should focus our attention even more.

Imagine that “new normal”, after Covid-19, will involve more shelter-in-place orders, quarantines, and natural disasters. Then your home-office is certainly not the whole picture. I mean we should look behind home-office setup and think “distanced fun and work setup” instead!

See, I don’t believe thinking about “being locked” at home should be limited to work. We should spend time thinking about how to make our home & technology setup more remote-friendly also for personal use.

I mean all these Facetimes, Zooms, Skypes and Marco Polos of the world were made for interactions on the go. Yet, we have nowhere to go no and personal contact is considered dangerous. Hence using them in current home setups is less than optimal experience. At least I feel that way.

I believe that future home technology setup needs to answer this major question – what is a comfortable way to connect with the whole family or several friends at the same time while everyone is e.g. at their dinner tables, on the BBQ decks or in their game rooms?

Can you see and talk to your grandparents while they are having dinner at their cottage in the Alps while you are having dinner with your family in Prague? Seeing each other and being able to talk and joke and eat and drink all at the same time should be natural. It is not perfect, sure, but for me, it represents acceptable proxy to an in-person dinner party.

So I’m challenging you to think about making your home quarantine proof also on fun & social side. How difficult it will be? How expensive? I don’t know…

Can you add a camera to your smart-TV and run Skype, Hangout, Zoom, Teams video call with the whole family? Can they do the same thing? Is there any table or laptop experience which might do it with a projector? How will you solve the sound for everyone? Will that work with your typical dinner party? Do you need more TVs in your house? Will you need keyboards or voice control assistants to make it work? Can you take it a step further and enable playing games with friends – desk games, online games, word games – and still being able to see each other?

If you think about it, all these questions were already answered in your typical conference room set up in the office, right! How can you get it to your home and not go broke and not look like a conference room?

I know it’s a lot of questions and no answers yet. I just want to urge you, when you start thinking about updating your home office for the future, think about the rest of your time too. Life is not just office-time and that “other life” investment might turn out to be the best thing you’ve done before the next lock-down kicks in.

If anyone has any tips on good tech to solve this problem, I’m all ears and will retweet and re-share.

Well, I found this after initial article was published and I really like it, so link comes here and let’s see if it takes off:

As always, I’m looking for any comments and suggestions on good reads at twitter @42opinionz

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