What if you could take the office with you everywhere you go? Ten years ago it would have been wishful thinking, but it’s a reality of our day to day. Technology in the form of mobile phones, collaboration software that sits in the cloud, as well as millennials, are shaping the workplace of the future. Sure, there is nothing like face to face contact with colleagues to get the ball rolling, but I think that is going to be a luxury in the future.
What is happening is that many of us don’t really spend time at the office, rather our office is anywhere we are. All we need is an internet connection and WiFi to be able to do our work and connect with colleagues and clients through videoconferencing and chat tools. This makes our home the most likely place where we sit down to get work done.
In the workplace of the future, speed and efficiency of collaboration will be the norm. Because of social networks many small companies are as diverse, if not more, than large organizations. People are spread out across cities and countries, many don’t even have a physical office; rather their office is anywhere they are.
An emerging option is going to a co-working space. Having had an office at a co-working space for almost three years now, I can tell you that some companies are thriving in a virtual office approach. Most of these co-working spaces offer enough for employees to be able to do their work, plus they get to meet new people.
Today, nearly 24% of the U.S. working population telecommutes for at least a few hours each week. Seventy-eight percent said they’d forego free meals and 31% would take a salary cut for the privilege of working at home. Sounds like the makings of a workplace revolution–perhaps the very “Death of the Office,” according to a new infographic by Darren Kingman (of digital marketing firm SEOgadget), who created the chart for Intuit.
I don’t think the the office is dead or will be dead. I think the concept of work, how we get it done and where we get it done is being redefined. As I said above, we’ll still need physical contact with our fellow colleagues but that will be more of a choice and luxury, not the norm.
I’ll give you an example, I’ve recently joined a company’s Board of Directors and our first meeting is going to be done through Google Hangouts; and most likely all of the other meetings too. So much for Corporate rules overriding the future!