Our workplaces are clearly evolving faster than ever, with big changes over the past few years, as a result of new technologies and behaviours entering our organisations. The consumer web has largely fuelled these changes, and now organisations must learn to adapt. Serviced offices and real estate companies are responding to the growing challenge, by developing and re-designing workspaces suited to a new generation of workers, while integrating the advancements in technology. Learn more here, from real estate professionals who have shared their insights on the evolution of the workplace and what it means for the traditional serviced office marketplace.
Organisation hierarchy and easier communication
The world of work is changing in many ways. More organisations are opting for a more flattened approach, away from the traditional hierarchy. New collaborative platforms are making communication easier and more efficient than ever before. It is therefore easier to open up the organisation structure, to allow employees to interact and engage with other workers at all levels of seniority.
However, ease and efficiency of communication can also have a negative impact on workers. Mobile phones, email, social apps and Internet access ensure people can be reached almost anywhere, at any time. This complete loss of privacy and downtime presents a work-life balance challenge for many workers around the world. It does however; allow for more flexible working hours. Due to greater connectivity, with people able to access information at any time on different devices, flexible hours could help employees’ work-life balance and provide greater job satisfaction. Advances in technology also allow the opportunity for people to work from outwith the traditional company offices.
From fixed workplaces to working anywhere
The Internet and new collaborative technologies allow employees to simply connect in to their work. With Internet access, people can work from literally anywhere. High office rentals in many cities around the world are also causing a shift from conventional and traditional defined cubicle workspaces, to flexible offices in the form of co-working and hybrid spaces. Many corporate cultures are shifting towards a more collaborative workspace, where there are less physical divisions in the space between workers. These spaces allow for creativity, collaboration and openness – fostering a high level of productivity for many, and a reduction in costs for companies. Ideas can then be shared between people across all different sectors.
However, it can be a detractor for others. A study, commission by Plantronics, Oxford Economics found that 70% of executives prioritise space for collaboration but more than half of employees say that noise can impact their productivity. The study, ‘When the walls came down: How smart companies are rewriting the rules of the open workplace,’ surveyed 1,200 global employees and found similar results. However, it is the new generation of millennial workers who are also driving the evolution of workplace design.
The Millennial Workforce
Millennials are used to flexibility, openness and instant connectivity, regardless of location. The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts that by 2015 millennials will overtake the majority representation of the workforce and by 2030 this tech savvy generation will make up 75% of the workforce. This generation are early adopters of technology and are more willing to try different styles of working. According to a Pew Research study, millennials want to work to live, not live to work. They are searching for the ever elusive ’work-life balance’ that companies promote heavily in their HR recruiting processes. If work-life balance can’t be achieved however, many millennials will move onto the next step in their career. Integrating new technologies and deploying tools that allow for more open collaboration and sharing of ideas across organisations will therefore be vital for attracting and retaining this bright new workforce.
The Continued Evolution
New technologies, the rise of the Internet and the new generation of workers have revolutionised the way in which we work, but this is a continual evolution. When thinking about the future of work, the topic of artificial intelligence cannot be avoided. Artificial intelligence has the potential for automating various processes and is expected to create the shift in human capital from mundane tasks to higher-order and creative work. Although artificial intelligence is till in its early development, this shift will inevitably create continual possibilities and opportunities for businesses and the workplace in the future.