Added 21 October, 2013
Despite a widely-reported recent edict from Yahoo's new boss requiring employees to work in the office, the trend towards flex-time and working from home is going strong. As is usual, when we see a trend and ask where it is heading, the answer is usually that the trend will go even further. Trends have inertia and once they get going they are hard to stop. So, what is the future of telecommuting? For some employees, the future will look something like the iRobot Ava 500, a "video collaboration robot" that not only lets you workers tap on their computers, but allows them to stroll around the office, virtually interacting with their colleagues with high-quality audio and video. The robot is easily controlled by iPad and pre-programmed locations mean that you can just tell it to go to "Bob's office" and it knows how to get there. And when your face time is done, the robot automatically finds its way to its charging station. Interestingly, the Ava 500 is made by the same company that created the Roomba vacuum robot. Will we soon be sending robots to work for us?