Are flexible workplaces the future?
Huge improvements in workplace technology has seen a real change in our modern offices. Hot desking is the norm and flexible working environments are increasingly common. Digital technology constantly at our fingertips means that employees are able to connect with their colleagues across the globe from anywhere at anytime. The rise of the mobile employee no longer bound by location has been born.
More than ever before, people are working from home and hours outside of the traditional 9-5, helping to manage their work/life balance more effectively. Many businesses have embraced this flexibility hoping that a happier workforce in turn leads to a more productive one.
Flexible working is an appealing prospect with Generation X and millennial employees. Generations who have known nothing that the freedom and access that the explosion in digital technology has given. Gen X and millennials seek and thrive in a constantly changing environment and expect flexibility in the workplace as the norm rather than an additional perk.
With an increase in knowledge intensive jobs and a decline in traditional manufacturing and output based roles- is it inevitable that the demise of the classic office is almost upon us? With the number of fixed desks for every 10 knowledge intensive workers set to decrease from 8 to 7 by the end of the decade it seem likely.
No longer will employees be working in silos, at fixed desks full of clutter and papers – rather businesses are already moving into streamlined and slicker workplaces with clear desk policies throughout. Minimalist in appearance, with break out spaces to encourage collaborative thought and action between colleagues. ‘Feel good’ and quiet zones will be designed to offset the buzz of an open plan office with a nod of a the head acknowledging the need to respond to and support employee well being in the work space.
The move towards flexible working is a worldwide trend, one that is not slowing down bringing with it a host of benefits to employer and employee alike as summarised below:
- Saving time, space and money
- Savings can be spent on improving the remaining office spaces – designing ‘feel good spaces’ – lounge areas, breakout zones, plants and other office features
- Savings can be reallocated to improve and enhance digital resources
- Creates a more collaborative environment and increases interaction between staff
- Presents a tidy and minimalist appearance
- A flexible solution for remote office workers, freelancers and consultants
- Creates a more equal non-hierarchical office environment