Several decades ago I saw a bank office at WestAmerica where nobody had an assigned desk and all papers were stored at night in assigned lockers. The desk phones of those days were routed to whatever desk the employee chose.
Bloomberg News is treating this as the ‘hottest new office idea.’
Thanks to smartphones these days no fixed phone is needed at all. Desks and everything in the office can be temporary and all the elements of the office can be assigned based on the activities (meeting space, relaxing space, phone talking, computer screens and conferencing space etc.)
This could be an astounding tool for shrinking bureaucracies. Already, giant newspapers and magazines have sold their skyscrapers and moved to single story buildings with large parking lots. Reporters file stories, they don’t write them in the ‘office’ anymore.
If Trump wins this election in a few weeks, I have made arrangements to get the office idea to him. I don’t think Clinton is interested in drastically reducing government.
My suggested approach is to take bureaucracies like the IRS and the EPA and move them to Detroit. Detroit can use the $billions in government salaries and new home buyers.
The new offices of these bureaucracies would all be the ‘no-assigned desk’ types and all smartphones would be department issued.
My guess is that half of the employees would quit, retire or retire early rather than move to Detroit. Without an assigned desk.
Which would give the agency the right size to operate in the new more efficient environment.
Time to try this on a large scale. I personally believe most bureaucracies could operate more efficiently with half the number of employees.