When I am commuting to work in the morning, I can see more and more people checking their emails on notebooks at the train station, working on tablets on the train, or simply participating in conference calls in the business lounge at the airport. Furthermore, many coffee houses have realized the potential of giving away free WIFI hours with a coffee break. It enables the future workplace „anytime, anywhere, any place“ – the new claim for modern business around the world.
Questions arise like: How much office space do we need in the future? Do we have to sit in our cubicles all day long? AND: How much time do we need to spend together in the office?Gartner published some data showing that 45% of workers in the US spend eight hours a week outside the office and away from their desks. And International Data Corporation (IDC) claims that there will be 1.3 billion mobile worker in approximately two years time (2015), making up 37.2% of the US workforce.
The main benefits of the future mobile workforce were illustrated in the following infographic by Cisco.
a) Reduced road travel by 91 billions miles per year.
b) Prevention of traffic injuries and deaths by 77,000.
c) Reduced greenhouse gases by 51 million tons per year.
d) Saved 281 million barrels of oil per year.
e) Gain almost 2 weeks of extra free time per year.
PS: As this infographic is interactive (and could be cut out larger), you might not see everything. Here is the link to the animated side.
jobs and social engagement…
A recent study by Virgin Business Media now shows some similar insights. It states that 58% of U.K. workers think offices of today will not exist in ten years’ time. The study was commissioned to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the British sitcom The Office (basis for the U.S. show).
The findings are based on a research that surveyed 1,000 U.K. workers that gave feedback on how their working lives have changed over the last ten years, and how they expect them to change over the next ten years. It has to be said that it was predominantly based on the impacts of technology…
Working remotely will be the new trend. Commuting and traditional offices will be out soon. At least that is what UK workers predict: 56% of respondents are not seeing themselves commuting in 2021 like they do today. An impressive 83% respond that technology enables them to become more productive in the last ten years. Productivity in the future means (62% say so) they would use just one device to handle both their personal and work life in ten years’ time.
The question will be if people will want to work from home, or prefer to continue commuting. Having someone to talk to, not being forgotten and having a need to show somebody that you are really „at work“ might be reasons against the future outlook with no traditional offices space.
In May a report from Regus and Unwired called VWork: Measuring the benefits of agility at work makes clear that only 12,3% of respondents want to work from home. It will be interesting to see whether companies offices will extinct, or if companies will give their employees money to find coworking space (like the car allowance concept), or if they host coworking space (in order to recruit new people…). The virtual office will be the future for many people. I just can see lawyers, controllers or HR people who might need their traditional offices. The rest will be able to work remotely… It is more flexible, more agile for marketing, sales and business development, and people are motivated to have more meetings.
Would you agree? Do you see this development as dangerous? What is your view on the extinction of office space?