The Future of Work from CES: Home Headquarters

This year’s CES, which ends today, is appealing because it shows future changes in product design, based on the assumption that many will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future, rather than everyone entering the office.

One of the most exciting sessions at the virtual event focused on this new telecommuting regular job. Former CNET colleague Brian Cooley has joined Paul Lee of Deloitte LLP, Megan Wollerton of CNET Home, and Jennifer Kent of Parks Associates to discuss the current situation and future.

Let’s talk about what they emphasized this week.

Zoom meetings alone are not enough

I’m not trying to select a zoom. And other video conferencing products have improved over the past year in terms of attracting people. However, they all leave a gap because there is no way to recreate casual conversations around the office or at lunch. Our people working from home have learned to live without old social involvement. But we haven’t replaced them with anything, our pool of friends is declining, and our social capacity is declining with them.

Facebook, which started out as a social tool, could have filled this gap. However, the service got lost and became a personal publishing platform rather than a way to build and develop true friendships. I didn’t see anything to fill that gap with CES. Someone has the opportunity to look at an old Facebook that was initially focused on making friends and come up with something similar. (This kind of friendship is more likely to come from today’s multiplayer games.)

A related note is that not being able to see body language on the camera makes effective communication difficult and suggests the need for camera progress. I’m thinking of something like a video door (place a big screen on the door frame so you can chat with people standing away).

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The Future of Work from CES: Home Headquarters

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