Is the office over?

2nd June 2014

80s-computer-working

Like the proverbial ex-parrot, is the office no more? Intuit have put together some statistics-based insights examining what is happening to the traditional office environment.

Despite some high-profile moves in the other direction (such as Yahoo! deciding to move home-workers back to the office), the Intuit analysis shows a clear trend away from traditional office structures to more flexible environments:

  • One-tenth of the UK workforce now telecommute.
  • 72% of UK employers providing home-working options.
  • 79% of workers want to work from home for at least some of the week.

Other research shows home workers to be better employees:

Home workers

Office workers

Not considering leaving their job in the next 12 months

53%

43%

Satisfied with their employer

73%

44%

Company communication is open and two-way

54%

44%

Put in more that 40 working hours a week

53%

28%

The draw of home-working is so great, 28% of UK employees said they would trade a lower salary in return for flexible working.

The office of tomorrow — Today

Where will the trend for home working take the traditional office environment? Ignoring some of the wilder ideas Intuit highlighted (self-driving cars which turn into meeting spaces are unlikely to make in-roads anytime soon), the main office trends appear to be:

  • Bring Your Own Device — BYOD is already a firm trend in businesses, with employees using their own devices for work.
  • Smaller offices — With a percentage of employees working from home, offices can be smaller spaces. Delivering savings on rentals and running costs.
  • Untethered offices — The idea of 'owning' an office desk will fade and workers will take whatever desk is available on the days they are not working from home.
  • Constant contact — Whether at home or another location, employers are going to expect employees to always be contactable and in-tune with what is happening.

Underpinning these changes is the adoption of the cloud. Moving services such as email, document storage, and collaboration tools from an in-house server to a hosting provider gives employers the ability to offer flexible working conditions to employees, and for employees to improve their work-life balance. These services can be provided from a mix of suppliers, or delivered using a combined package such as Microsoft Office 365.

The era of the traditional office, where everyone arrives a 9am and leaves at 5pm isn't yet over, but it is in the process of changing. The future office is a smaller workplace, with the employees movements being more fluid, and the inhabitants changing daily based on where people are choosing to work from.

Businesses which are not planning for these changes risk losing out on new recruits who value flexible working. To find out how Simply Mail Solutions can help your company deliver employee-friendly working practices email our sales team or call +44 (0) 1925 818448.

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