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I’ve always been excited about the idea of remote, collaborative work. Why? Well, I think the idea that you need to have 100, or even 10 or even 2 people sitting in the same room or the same office in order to get things done is ridiculous. Some offices have embraced this technology with everything from remote workers or agents to office messaging and communications software. I have a vision for the future and it doesn’t include the traditional “sardines in a can”. What does it look like? Here goes.

I recently started using an app called Collaborate. I love it. Basically, it’s an office ON my iPhone. Shared files, communications, tasks and to do lists, EVERYTHING that you would need to work in an office becomes available at your fingertips. Now, I’m not saying that working in an office is bad. If two people WANT to be in the same place at the same time and CAN do that, then why not, but Collaborate allows me and my staff to “collaborate” on our projects together without having to physically be connected.

Using Dropbox and its sharing functions, I’m able to connect with all my clients and staff in a meaningful way that will allow us to work on large files together without having to email back and forth or run back and forth between offices with a flash drive or, IMAGINE, burn a CD.

Why does all this matter to me? I’ll tell you a story. My best friend is a genius, at some things. He’s a fantastic worker and for years he and I have discussed ventures that we think would be ideal for the two of us to work on together. Everything was coming up Millhouse. And then he met a beautiful, intelligent and successful young woman and followed her to Ottawa where they set up shop. It was a sad day for me for 3 reasons. First, it’s my best friend. And now he lives in Ottawa. Second, I also love his wife. She is an inspiration in a number of areas. And now she lives in Ottawa. Finally, given each of our lives in our respective cities, the idea of working together disappeared.

Or did it? Apps like Collaborate, DropBox, Wunderlist and Evernote have allowed us to work together on a number of projects. The days of location being an obstacle are, depending on your field, gone.

1500km is now in the same room.

But to be clear, when I build my dream office, it’s going to look just like this.
http://www.designboom.com/architecture/bold-design-new-office-on-the-roof/

NOTE: Since writing this post, Collaborate has been purchased by Cisco Systems and shut down. Womp Womp.