Dory Carr-Harris: Why The Office Of The Future Has No Walls

Dory Carr-Harris: Why The Office Of The Future Has No Walls

Marriott Hotels is renting out on-site workspace to young creatives looking for places to make ideas come to life.

Dory Carr-Harris, PSFK
  • 13 october 2013

The modern concept of work has seen some major shifts: how we do our jobs, what we call an office and where our colleagues are located to name a few. It’s changed so dramatically in fact, that it likely bears little resemblance to the landscape of a decade ago.

To put the rapid developments of the recent past in perspective, consider this: fifteen years ago, there was no such thing as Skype. Five years ago, no one had ever used a tablet. Two years ago, the idea that you could print something in 3D from your desk was utterly unbelievable. Today products and services like these are the norm in working life.

Bringing this conversation back to the present, PSFK was at Social Media Week in Chicago to moderate an illuminating panel called “Help Shape the Future of Work,” which was hosted by Marriott Hotels in collaboration with online office space booking service, Liquid Space, and office furniture company, Steelcase. The event was developed to bring awareness to Marriott’s ‘Workspace On Demand,” a program that allows users to book a space online to work, meet, connect, or collaborate for short-term and even last minute use.

workspace on demand

Workspace on Demand allows for Marriott WiFi enabled lobby and boardroom space to be rented out as pop up offices to accommodate a variety of needs. This innovation was developed in response to new trends that are emerging around office culture, space, technology, and communications.

At the Social Media Week event, the panelists shared and discussed their personal and business experiences to help paint a real world picture of the various issues at play in the modern office. The discussion was moderated by PSFK’s Managing Editor Dory Carr-Harris, and panelists included: Peggy Roe, Vice President, Global Operations at Marriott, Mark Gilbreath, Founder and CEO of Liquid Space; and Sudhakar Lahade, Manager of New Business Innovations and Growth Initiatives at Steelcase. Three key trends that surfaced during the panel discussion were the idea of a Dynamic Workplace, the fundamental building block of Collaboration, and the idea that Work Happens Everywhere.

marriott panel steelcase chair

The Dynamic Workplace represents the melding of physical and virtual spaces. The act of working is no longer confined to the four cubicle or office walls – work is being done wherever there is a computer, cell phone, iPad or tablet. Common workplace furniture items like boardroom tables and basic desks are disappearing and being replaced by modular, multi-functional environments.

With our culture shifting towards mobile workspaces, collaborating and innovating has become embedded in our daily routines. Workspace on Demand frees up both private and public workspace in inspiring locations across the US, giving people the flexibility to book a place to work a week in advance or even at a moment’s notice. The program’s core principles allow for the blending of work and play, making it that much easier for work to happen anywhere and everywhere.

marriott panel workspace on demand

Workspace on Demand is expanding across the US and will be available in Marriott Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Autograph Collection, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, and TownePlace Suites. To check out the spaces, or book a space to work visit

Workspace on Demand



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