The notion of the ‘office’ is undergoing a radical transformation. According to last year’s ONS Labour Force Survey, just 1.5 million Brits worked from home as their main job. The vast majority of employees used to spend a third of their time at their workplace.
Fast-forward a year and virtually every office worker has had to adapt to ‘remote working.’ For many companies the shift has been successful. So much so, that according to a recent survey of 1,000 company directors by the Institute of Directors, more than half of UK are planning to cut back office space as staff move more permanently to working from home. More than one in five in the survey reported their use of the office would be “significantly lower” in the future.
So, does this spell the end of the ‘office’ as know it, and what will the future workspace look like? Here’s our top predictions:
- Change in function: Some businesses may go virtual, but the vast majority will still want an office. However, the function of the office will evolve. The office will become a place where staff can come together and collaborate, which means that onus will change to creating bigger meeting spaces.
- Focus on younger generation: Whereas some reports say that younger workers are behind the drive to remote working, it’s also important to remember that the office serves a valuable function for those at the beginning of their career. Being surrounded by experienced staff enables a great environment for learning and sharing. The future office will need to cater to these workers and ensure that they get a significant amount of ‘face time’ to support their development and training.
- Sustainable design: Businesses are increasingly aware of their role in supporting the environment. As such, future offices will want to increasingly reflect this with sustainability at the heart of their design and materials. Expect recycling and green features to take centre stage!
- Technology as an enabler: The vast majority of companies are well on their way to achieving digital transformation. Technology will play a crucial role in the future of the office, to enable seamless and productive working, whilst also ensuring that office-based staff can communicate and collaborate with their home-based counterparts.
How is your office evolving? Do you think it will still have value in the next decade? We would love to hear your thoughts!