Retirees and vacationers can still get the work-at-an-office experience with this new “simulated office” setup that would actually help real people!


Sometimes, office workers who are retired (or unemployed, or even on vacation) miss certain elements of the office environment.

Much of this is probably rose-tinted nostalgia, but maybe we can capitalize on it anyway in order to create a valuable service.


There are three elements to this system, which we will call the “nostalgic office worker value-generation system.”

Element 1) First, we need to create a web site that simulates the sounds of the office.

Research indicates that this already exists in suitable fashion, with several “random sounds from an office” videos and even an amazing interactive office-noise-generating site, .

Element 2) Next, we need to assess the job skills of the nostalgic office worker. This can probably be evaluated just by having them submit a resume. The accuracy here is not extremely important: all we need is a general keyword-based idea of what this individual knows about.

Element 3) Here’s where we actually generate revenue: the nostalgic office worker will be made available for (live!) answering of questions from other individuals in their field (these are the paying customers). Figure 1 shows how this might work. This question-answering mode will apply as long as the web site is open, or later if (say) a retired system administrator wants to relive the sensation of being woken up at 4 AM by a system alert. 

Fig. 1: The paying customers interact with the web site (left), asking questions that they need answered. The nostalgic office worker is called on the phone (middle), and (hopefully) answer the paying customer’s question. The answer is then provided in both audio and transcript form (right) for future paying customers to benefit from and/or get confused by.


Imagine how valuable this could be in practice: instead of relying on only Yahoo Answers for your Internet search questions, you could (for example) call up a real retired geologist and ask them “hey, is this thing a rock?” [with attached image of an orange]—all for an incredibly low price, probably!

PROS: Gives a sense of purpose to personality types who are bored unless they have work to do. Might allow retired office workers to remember the various elements of the office that they don’t miss, thus making retirement seem more satisfying in comparison.

CONS: None!