As the internet continues to revolve inevitably the workforce will become far more mobile. We are already witnessing employees craving this flexibility and stepping away from the usual “9-5” momentum. Technology such as Google docs, Cloud hosting and Skype bridge the gap closer together.
The questions employers have to ask themselves “will the modern workplace be in a traditional office or at an employee’s home?” Unfortunately there is no simple answer.
If we take a look at Google’s plans for their new office in London due to be completed in the year 2016, the office space is out of this world. They will hold approximately one million square feet and it will house an indoor football pitch, an open-air swimming pool, a roof garden and a climbing wall. Who would want to work from home when they have all this in their workplace? Google are advertising this as an extension to their company culture.
Admittedly we don’t all have the budget to create the workplace of tomorrow, but fear not as there are plenty of humble ways to re-create the workspace of the future. If we think about it we have all seen how technology has changed the way we life but hard assets such as cars and offices have somehow remains stagnant over the years – it is time to change this.
Many companies understand the frustration of remote workers especially when they struggle to get access to adequate space, amenities and networking opportunities. This is why more and more companies are giving their remote employees the option to “hot desk”. Hot desking offers co-working spaces complete with on-site amenities such as meeting rooms, refreshments and printing facilities. It is a proven fact these hot desks inspire and benefit creativity, innovation and collaboration.
The type of worker suited for remote working
The target audience for remote working is someone that is tech savvy and is career focused. This will be more common when Generation Z (individuals aged 13-18) enter the workforce. Did you know that those considered Generation Z spend almost every waking hour on the internet? They are surrounding by social media and eat and breathe the internet.
Due to this mobile working will only grow in the upcoming years. In fact there are plenty of reports to suggest that the mobile workforce will grow to over 1.3 billion by the end of 2015. The reported figure by IDC was just over one billion in 2010.
We take a look at how employers can manage their mobile workspace and consider whether employers are ready for the future:
IS THE STRATEGIC VISION OF THE COMPANY A FLEXIBLE ONE?
As an employer do you have the same mind-set of Google and consider your workplace to be an extension of your corporate ethos and strategy? Ericsson predicts that in the year 2020 there will be over 50 billion devices connected to the world wide web. Employers need to start thinking now how these connected devices will change the way we communicate and work and a company’s vision needs to be ready to welcome these changes. Alternative Networks showcase some of the services to look out for.
DO YOU RECOGNIZE THAT A FLEXIBLE WORKPLACE IS MUCH MORE THAN A PERK?
Employers need to change their mind-set and recognize that flexibility is not a perk but a strategy for success. Companies all over the world have witnessed how flexible working has improved motivation, efficiency levels and profit margins. Employees want to work for a company where they feel trusted and valued.
It is important to note that any change is corporate culture including changes in workspaces will require a set of policies and training guidelines. Any changes need to be communicated well in advance to allow time for employees to understand the changes and to ask any emerging questions they may have.
The ability to utilize flexible workspaces will also be based on the role they have. We have previously mentioned there are plenty of tools such as Google Docs and Cloud to enable employees to work from a remote destination but this would not enable a sales person or someone who has regular contact with clients to carry out their role effectively.
Employers must also consider the social aspects of remote workers. Lone workers as they are commonly referred to can feel isolated at times especially if they have no contact with other colleagues. It is important to get them involved with the company culture as much as possible.
As an employer how do you see your workspace evolving? Is it something you have yet to consider?