A major change that computers have brought into work life, but one that is rarely discussed, is office furniture arrangement.
Before computers, office desks faced out into the room, toward the door. You walked into your colleague's office and she was already facing you. You walked into your boss's office, and he (usually a he then) was already staring at you. If you walk into the big boss's office (hint: it's an oval), he's still staring at you.
That's because he doesn't have a computer. There are no nasty cords to hide. I think it's really all about the cords. Nobody wanted to stare at them or trip over them, so they've been hidden in cube corners and back walls. So now we all find ourselves with our back to our cube "doors" and office doors, and people have to cough or something to get our attention and then we wonder how long they were watching us slouch at our computers and play with our hair and maybe pick that piece of spinach out of our teeth. And it's just not friendly.
But what's going to happen now that we're streamlining the hardware? Are we moving toward a time where there will be no cords? If I had my way, I'd just be doing all my computing on my laptop now. No bundles of cords to hide.
Might we live to see the rebirth of the doorward-facing desk?