Earlier this year, Condeco founder and CEO, Paul Statham, wrote an article for Real Business, a digital publication based in the UK, discussing what the office space of the future will look like thanks to technology advances.
Paul discussed workplace technology, focussing on workspace advancements and the way employees have shifted in their work dynamic.
While this is not a new topic, it definitely is a trending one, which continues to be commented on as new technology is introduced, and we as the workforce, continue to stay ahead of the trend.
The social generation
Generation Z, the FaceTime users, the WhatsApp callers, the fans of video content and communication, means that video integration into the business realm are even more important for communication efforts going forward.
The future of the open office space
The days of nine-to-five, fixed desks, and water cooler moments are being replaced with more flexible, remote and distributed working; and while we are a long way away from hologram-only meetings or robots supervising the workplace, AI and other automation tools are already a key player in work transformation.
With this introduction of flexible working through more automative capabilities, 71 per cent of organisations have adopted a policy of remote working. What this means is that the traditional office space will be used less frequently, and when in fact used, it will be primarily for more collaborative working and meetings.
- About 50 per cent of offices will be dedicated to meeting spaces and communal areas
- There will be a desk to people ratio of 1:20
- Coffee shops or as the millennials call it, the Coffice, will increase even more in popularity
- Video integration in meetings will be key to communication and productivity levels
Maximising office space efficiency
"Although the march of machines is rather less pronounced in office space, we are already seeing an increase in so-called “narrow” or “weak AI” – defined as limited, non-sentient automation." ~ Paul Statham
The workplace is increasingly becoming intuitive, but there will also be a natural constraint on the way narrow AI and data-driven technology evolve; this for instance, in the case of tracking employee whereabouts through RFID-tech. This can only be done so successfully if there is a clear goal in mind; the technology needs to be useful, and not intrusive.
Empowering company culture
While we are shifting towards remote and agile working, meaning less time in the confides of the office space and more focus on meetings and collaborations catered to by video integration. Organisations will have to work hard at making sure core company values and culture continue to be nurtured while adopting to the times:
- Online inductions, skills and learning management courses: that can cover everything from health, wellness and safety, as well as company values.
- Networking events: internal events such as "lunch and learns" to give employees value-add presentations, discussions and insights.
- Town hall-style events: where meetings are streamed live to an organisations different geographies and distribution of employees globally.
Mobility, the advancement of mobile technology and the availability to work from anywhere, at anytime needs to be fostered for organisations to develop, grow and be productive. In saying that however, people still want to feel apart of a community. The technology introduced is unlikely to change this notion, but will be a positive if it can reinforce and enhance this notion for improved collaboration and ultimate business success.