Space and physical presence are far less important for me than they were only five years ago. With fairly reliable internet access, I can teach online and stay caught up with most work tasks while traveling or attending conferences. I don’t need an office (though I would miss coffee conversations with colleagues). When undergoing change, a system has an interesting mix of new attributes and hold-over mindsets that are no longer applicable. A physical space at an office fits into the latter category for many people. Washington Post calls these people Digital Nomads:
They work — clad in shorts, T-shirts and sandals — wherever they find a wireless Web connection to reach their colleagues via instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and occasionally by voice on their iPhones or Skype. As digital nomads, experts say, they represent a natural evolution in teleworking. The Internet let millions of wired people work from home; now, with widespread WiFi, many have cut the wires and left home (or the dreary office) to work where they please — and especially around other people, even total strangers.