Is technology driving us out of the office?
The technology and the environment of the office is changing fast. Rather than driving people away, the office is becoming a more flexible place and has a feel of a space which makes you feel outside the office when you are in it. This is all due to the more wireless network, which is allowing us to work anywhere, including outdoor spaces. The challenge to technology is to make it more user-friendly to IT systems and users, which could create better shared space.
Technology has been the greatest catalyst for change in the workplace, particularly in the last 10 years. Whilst it has advanced remote working it has also progressed flexible working within the office. It hasn’t negated the need for the office but changed the way we use it to be more efficient and effective – and enjoyable. As technology has become mobile it has allowed the creation of more relaxed office environments that are capable of stimulating human interaction.
Technology has freed up the way we work and enabled us to work from multiple locations, be it your favourite coffee shop, your home a plane or a train. However it is not driving us out of the office. Contemporary workplaces are increasingly the emotional glue to our work/life balance, offering multiple work settings, openly encouraging social interaction and team building.
The reality is technology is driving us into the workplace both physically and virtually.
I don’t think technology is driving us out of the office but I do think it is encouraging us to use the office in a different way. It has freed us up to work anywhere and as a consequence the office is more important than ever as a place of human interaction. iDEA now routinely delivers virtual workplace software tools as a vital supplement to our design projects – technology providing a direct link between people and a more effective use of space in real time.
Technology has undoubtedly affected our relationship with the office – location is now less important and there has been a marked rise in remote working. It has also altered the culture of the ‘meeting’. Whereas these used to take place in person, Skype or conference calls are now essential. As the physical hub of working life and quality colleague interaction, the office will never be replaced but it will have to enable a much more flexible working style.
The fact remains that being face-to-face is still the best way to communicate and collaborate, the office is still the best place to do this, and interiors and furniture are being designed to encourage this. Technology is not driving us out of the office but does empower us to take control of our work/life balance. New laptops, smartphones and clouds are all now being considered in furniture and interior design.
Absolutely not! Technology is advancing and people need to consume more quicker The office has become challenged and the need for a smarter place to work has become essential. With a patent pending for the Smart Work Space our technology intelligently connects seats, desks and staff within spaces – the office space intelligently listening and adapting to usage requirements, offering better space utilisation, more efficiencies and smarter working.
Technology isn’t driving us out of the office at all. Instead, technology is expanding the office space by enabling us to work from home, the airport, our customers’ office etc. However, the physical office is still very important to any creative and knowledge intensive company, as this is where ideas are developed, improved and tested while we are face-to-face with our colleagues. And while we do this, technology supports us to perform even better.