The future of work; workspace – places

The agenda

Times are changing at a rate of knots; technology, automation and evolving attitudes to work continue to transform the way we conduct business.

But what exactly does the future of work look like in the next 5-10 years?

Is the notion of fixed office space becoming a thing of the past?

Consider the expansion of flexible workspace businesses like We Work, which now has 373 locations in 69 cities since its inception in 2010. The demand for flexible ‘eco-friendly coworking space’ is growing and the days of being tied into long expensive leases are numbered.

Physical office locations are shrinking to reduce costs – recently BT announced they are closing their Head Office and shedding 13,000 jobs. PWC is closing 6 offices as they redistribute to ‘evolve their presence to match the changing footprint and needs of clients’.

Its not just the financial arguments which are winning the debate over future workspaces; it’s also the changing nature of work itself and the way we organise ourselves.

The fixed desk 9 to 5 mentality and ‘line of sight’ management are becoming outmoded concepts. The gig economy is here to stay, and we need to get clever at managing contingent and flexible labour of all kinds; homeworkers, agile and remote workers, temps, interims, contractors, outsourced and offshore partners.

And then there’s new technology such as robotics and artificial intelligence and the evolution of digital and apps, which is fundamentally changing the nature of work and the role of workers.

McKinsey predict that by 2030, 800M of today’s jobs will be carried out by robots. ‘Intelligent buildings’ bring greater efficiency as well as being environmentally friendly. Big data provides deep insights into the behaviour and preferences of workers as well as businesses and consumers.

So how can we make sense of all this and modernise workplaces to take advantage of these trends and prepare for an uncertain future?

Our lead contributor Aki Stamatis, Chairman of the Fourfront Group whose turnover of £160m is all derived from creating great working environments, will focus on these issues drawing on a number of case studies of blue chip clients who are transforming their workplaces to create a more positive and flexible culture, as well as achieve real benefits in productivity, collaboration and engagement.

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