Monday, November 19, 2012

The workplace transformation is taking place

Our working environment is swiftly evolving. The new generation is demanding freedom and flexibility so that they could work at office, at home or even on the go. Technology and the tech-savvy generation is changing the expectation of how we go to work today. Office is where you are. Going to work no longer means travelling to a certain place, employees can work where they are, when they want. Work has now become a task, an activity, rather than spending hours at some place. 

The vision of the 'future workplace' is surfacing. The employee is seldom bound to a physical location and performance is measured by the quality of the output submitted on a pre-decided timeline instead of the number of hours spent. Transforming the workplace to follow these growing trends in order to achieve high-quality performance in today's challenging and competitive environment is the top priority of the organizations and technology is playing its role to change the environment and work culture.  

The future workplace model follows a connected, collaborative and socially engaged work-space. So it is high time to say goodbye to permanent desks, cabins, structured meeting rooms and hence embrace a free and social workplace setting where employees are encouraged to choose between different environments that best suit their task on any given day. If people are working collaboratively and using technology instead of face-to-face they are able to meet more often and can make decisions quickly. 

It is already happening in companies and Microsoft's office in Amsterdam is an example. For instance, staff no longer have a desk, quiet areas are built for people who need to concentrate on their work, large open areas are made for workers who need to work with the collaboration of other team members, open refreshment zones like restaurants and coffee bars are prepared for meetings between employees. They are also encouraged to work from home. The bottom-line is to gain maximum productivity. According to Microsoft, the results of implementing the new way of working are as under:

- Reduction in real estate costs
- Increased productivity
- Benefits for the environment
- Satisfied and happier workforce

Microsoft is not alone in making the future work environment flexible and smart. Dell, Google and Unilever are also among the companies that are striving to make this world a better place to work. The new way of working is spreading all over the world with the help of technology to bring positive change in the traditional working practices, transforming the way people work, communicate, collaborate and finish their day-to-day tasks in efficient and effective manner. 

Environment is also a major part of the shift, helping companies reduce their carbon footprint. Also, consider the amount of pollution we produce by coming to our offices in the morning and by going back home, causing massive traffic jams. This could also help us save some money.

Finally, it reduces cost of business. According to, people will use other spaces to congregate and work outside the office. With around 45% of office desk space vacant at any one time, this could lead to significant savings. 

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