Is the future of the office everywhere?
Face For Business was enthused to see an article in The Guardian recently relating to the ‘Future of the Office is Everywhere’. The workplace as we know it is changing, and we are no longer limited to working in an office and the restrictions this may bring. The new revolution of smartphones, combined with 4G, means that you can work and host meetings remotely, and be secure in the knowledge that 4G can bring a myriad of benefits from downloading files instantaneously to having virtual meetings via Skype or Face Time.
4G and the mobile internet infrastructure also means that it is no longer necessary to put new cables in the ground for faster connections, particularly in the city, where the need for this technology is greater. In fact, we can all relate to the time is takes for pages and sites to upload, and this instils a sense of frustration with our internet provider. 4G will eradicate this waiting and wasted time. We welcome the change as it means we will potentially see an increase in our business as we provide a call handling and telephone answering service to companies who are unable to take their business calls – be it because of poor signal when commuting to jobs or meetings, or to manage the overflow of calls to their office.
So, will 4G mean that we can be more flexible in the workforce? Can a remote workforce be an effective one? When we think about ‘ditching our office’ or working ‘remotely’, what do we mean by this? Well, the standard working day incorporating commuting to work, usually to a city or town centre, begins at 9am, and normally means completing an eight hour day. It means being at a desk with a pc and a landline and undertaking tasks within our offices, using this technology. However, a lot of businesses are already starting to work remotely, out of the office, and with modern technology, it has never been easier.
Read the attached link where Dell states that they want half its workforce to be work remotely by 2020. Is working remotely the office of the future?
Pros and Cons of Working Remotely
- You can work with companies in different time zones
- The commute to work can be the most important time of the day in terms of productivity
- Employees may be happier
- There may be lower absenteeism
- Savings in infrastructure and overheads
- More suitable staff, possessing better skills – not restricted to employees geographically located near to your office
- Employers learn to be more trustworthy
- Being proactive and progressing with the times
- Need to purchase employees resources such as tablets and smartphones
- Are staff more productive and more motivated?
- Staff are unsupervised and may only complete the minimum tasks
- Social aspects of ‘office working’ reduced
- No base for clients to visit, if required
Examples of Effective Remote Working
The media industry is an example of where working remotely is beneficial. Here, it enables reporters/journalists to report live from an event, write a report, take a photograph and instantly upload to the company website and distribute via social media channels. A reporter can be travelling from town to town on the search for stories, and with 4G, smartphones and Wi-Fi, tasks can be undertaken ‘on the road’.
Your Future Office
So, where do you see the future of your office? Will you be joining the remote workforce revolution or are you happy with your office set-up presently?
Will you be outsourcing tasks such as phone calls? Will you be employing people virtually, and hosting remote meetings? Do you think you will have an office in the future?
Further future technological advances may mean that the office as we know it will slowly become a thing of the past. We would love to hear your thoughts in our comments section.