Will Offices Commute to Us?

IDEO's vision of the future of work

We’ve managed to eliminate a lot of commuting simply by allowing much of our team to work at home. But we’re under no illusions—the vast majority of people still commute to work, emitting carbon into the atmosphere all the way. Design studio IDEO (the people behind one of our favorite books, Creative Confidence) has a vision for a different model. What if offices could commute to us?

The project includes self-driving cars and cargo vehicles as well as mobile office pods. The office pods (pictured above in an artist’s rendition) would be electric vehicles that charge up overnight and then drive themselves to underutilized space (maybe a stadium parking lot or scenic park) closer to where people live. 

A pod like this (it’s just a concept at this point) could be part of an ecosystem of solutions. Working at home, in a shared office space, or in an automatic pod—there’s room for all these ideas as we move to a future free from harmful carbon emissions where Anywhere Works. As Danny Stillion, an IDEO partner says, “You can put something out there into the world and if it resonates, people rally around it, from a design and engineering perspective, to help that vision come true.”

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