Last Friday, I joined a group of our students on a tour (put together by our College to Career Coordinator, Lucy Reile) of CoCo, a collaborative workspace in the former trading room of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, beautifully restored by adjunct professor Bob Mack. It offers a glimpse of how many of us will work in the future.
In comparison to today's office, the CoCo space shows how we will interact with colleagues (more collaboratively), communicate with each other (more digitally), dress in the office (more informally), and arrange and occupy workspace (more flexibly and fluidly).
With research suggesting that the self-employed may constitute as much as 40 to 45% of all workers by 2020, we need to start preparing our students for this future. And in many ways we already are: the CoCo space has many of the qualities of a design studio.
Our students already understand this. More than one of them on the tour said that they wished that we had CoCo-like space at the University. Someday, I think we will.
You can view photos from the visit on our Facebook page.