The future of the office
World is changing. Offices are also undergoing a metamorphosis. New is coming - people used to say. And so say office workers who follow ... the spirit of the time.
In the second half of 2006, Lexmark carried out research that shows the ideas of office workers about the changes that their daily work will undergo in the coming years. The study was conducted among 4,602 people working in offices throughout Europe.
Work from the office moves home? Yes. Active Europeans currently spend an additional average of 1 hour 14 minutes daily working at home after a long day of work. Therefore, a change in trends to the disadvantage of a working day from 9 to 5 begins to make itself felt. More than half of the respondents - 57% - believe that in just 10 years the concept of working during these hours will become obsolete, despite the fact that currently the office work day in most cases falls within these hours and lasts an average of 7.49 hours. That's a lot, but employees don't like time armor.
Why is this happening? There are many reasons, but the most common answer to this question is that working at home is equally efficient - or even more efficient - than at the office. New technologies favor this. Notebook, internet and telephone are no longer technical wonders, but everyday life. Therefore, there is no problem to work at home - among loved ones. That's why you can talk about a mobile office. Such an office means great flexibility and convenience. You can take them wherever you want to work. Not only home, but also on a business trip, on a trip, on a weekend, on vacation. Thanks to modern mobile and wireless technologies, an employee is able to quickly and safely access the company's IT resources. After all, even during a client meeting, he can check data, receive emails, conclude a transaction, check financial settlements, and even issue an invoice.
Returning to the Lexmark research - one-third of office workers (38%) believe that the concept of a traditional office now functioning in consciousness will go out of business in the next 10 years. It is to be replaced by a fully mobile office that allows you to work anywhere and anytime.
This work model will also be much cheaper, because you will not have to rent office rooms. The saved money can therefore be used for a different purpose, therefore it will be possible to talk about greater office development.
And if some companies do not want to give up their headquarters? Of course, they will have the right to do so – the mobile office will only apply to those interested. However, stationary offices will undergo a metamorphosis. So what will they look like? The answer can be the vision of Ultima Office, which at the ORGATEC 2006 exhibition in Cologne showed what work and office space will look like in 2030. It is not difficult to guess that a lot will change. Specialists from Ultima Office believe that, above all, technology will be completely hidden, out of sight, and furniture will become a communication interface. The technology will be built into the furniture, walls and building. Office employees will be individually identified and logged in to communicate and enable information flow. The rooms and furniture will be "intelligent", they will create a climate, acoustics, lighting, adjust the height of the top and chairs, automatically adapt all these elements to the needs of individual users. Using a phone will be rather rare. Instead, the will to contact another person will be automatically directed to the place where he is and he will be asked if he wants to be in contact. Technology will be everywhere, but completely invisible. Everything will be hidden in the surfaces, e.g. the top will be a keyboard, the wall will be a screen, which works with the rest today.
Ultima Office experts expect 2030 offices to have an atmosphere, be friendlier and more occasional. The boundary between work and private life will be subconscious. Future employees will have many "jobs" and will simultaneously develop several careers. Health at work is already becoming very important, and in the future will be even more important for employee satisfaction and motivation. Satisfaction and motivation will become the main task of the work environment in the future. It is already known that the best ideas are not born at the desk. That is why the logical conclusion is to create places where employees are more creative.
Although many people think that stationary offices will lose their relevance, business canons will remain the same. Over three quarters of employees (79%) believe that a suit and tie will remain clothing at work. After all, you can't always do business in your pajamas. Presence counts – as mobile offices cannot replace contact with the customer. And yet people make money, not machines. People talk to each other and want to cooperate. People want to impress others. Therefore, the tie and suit will be fine for a long time.
What else will change in the future? The employees themselves will improve. Therefore, not only devices will become brilliant, but also human minds. Employees will improve their skills in a way that matches specialist knowledge in a given field. And what improvements are we talking about?
- IT skills (57%),
- creative skills (53%),
- time management (53%),
- financial management skills (41%),
- presentation skills (39%),
- human resource management skills (39%).
Is it good or bad that offices go with the times? Some say that there is no way out – you can't escape modernity and metamorphosis. Others cannot imagine an office without their desk, large monitor and colleagues. But - as Edward Schillebeeck said – the past can be meditated, the future must be created. So let's work!