Technological Revolutions have lead to three main leaps in the evolution of "Work" thoughout time.
The first was the Agricultural Revolution. For the first time in human history, populations lived where the work was. Previously, hunter-gathers moved with the migratory animals and seasonal foods. Now, with the technology of agriculture, people settled in one place. "Professions" were created and people worked from home.
The next was the Industrial Revolution. In the 1640's in a mill in Lancashire, steam engines led to the creation of the first ever "Jobs". People now "went" to work rather than working from home. This was the end of the Cottage Industry. The commuting Employee was created. People left their homes to go to Work in a central factory or office. This has led to local communities that are empty during the working day and city centres that are ghost towns on the weekends.
More recently, the Information Revolution has allowed some workers to avoid the commute but the homes have changed and are no longer viable places from which to work. Most people do not have the space or facilities to work from home. Not many can afford to dedicate a room - most don't have a spare room or even extra space - in which to set up a home office. Also, the sense of a local "community" has been lost with people going to work all day long. So now, working from home can be a lonely business and not an ideal solution.
What is needed is one "Local" office for all the workers in a neighbourhood. Somewhere near their homes where workers can go and do their job as if they had commuted all the way to the central office. Somewhere with professional facilities where employees can be productive but that also maintains a sense of community.
My project is to create a francshise package which allows local businesses to dual-purpose their real estate. Pubs, Public Libraries, local schools, and local businesses are closing at an alarming rate because residential areas are deserted by their commuting workers for huge parts of the day. If some of these businesses could dedicate part of their floor space to a remote office for workers, this could be the extra financial input that keeps them viable. Also, if workers are staying in their local communities, they will be utilising the local facilities and supporting the lcoal businesses. The franchise, therefore, is aimed at helping the local business reinvent their existing space and provide the technological infrastructure for workers and employers to feel comfortable embracing this model. The franchise model could also be employed for an entire property dedicated to the remote worker.
Different workers will require diferent levels of service. Some wil only need an internet connection which could be in a cafe style environment. Some will need a quieter, more professional place with dedicated desks or storage. Some will need full facilities such as tele-conferencing, meeting rooms, etc. The provision these different levels could be indicated by a rating system. For example, in a local cafe you might find Level 1 - basic service levels that is always available. In a refurbished library, pub or restaurant, you might find Level 2 facilities _ desks and storage - for use by the average office worker during the working day. Lastly, one location could provide all three leves with dedicated areas for Level 1, 2 and 3. Ideally, these locations would eventually be available nationally and globally so that members could use the facilities anywhere they are - at home or travelling.
The advent of Cloud services would make this whole system viable and secure.