Workplace of the Future–not (just) an office building
Citrix – long time supporter and enabler of future/mobile/flexible working – reckons that, by 2020, organisations will need just seven desks for every ten workers (6/10 in the UK, US, Netherlands and Singapore) as everyone adjusts to the possibilities that “workshifting” offers.
Interestingly, they also find that each person will access the corporate network from an average of six devices. I can’t trace the underlying report (Citrix Workplace of the Future) so I can’t see what the six is made up of. In a related blog-post, Citrix’s Mick Hollison highlights the growth of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as a linked and enabling trend. This highlights the change in attitudes: currently, 2/3 of organisations do not have an enforced ban on personal devices although 84% have had such a ban in the past. The trend is compelling despite the obvious (but often overlooked) security issues.
The consequence of needing less desk-space – and having your team together (physically) less often – is that the space organisations do have needs to be arranged differently: more collaborative, more inspiring, more flexible. When people don’t need to be in the office, they will choose to come there only for specific reasons: to meet, to collaborate and, actually, just to hang-out occasionally – to re-connect physically.
The benefits for organisations: a more flexible workplace, lower employee costs, lower real estate costs, better attraction and retention of talent.
For individuals: more flexibility, better productivity, less commuting time and cost, better work-life balance.
I was amused to read this article on the BBC site at the same time as I’m reading the Citrix announcement: “Spring petrol sales decline despite lower forecourt prices”. Not just a spring dip apparently but a trend of five years or more that is not accounted for solely by greater fuel efficiency. If you can work from home, why spend time and money driving to work?
Also, as I’m having a bit of a new world of work catch-up, I spotted this book in Waterstones the other day: My Cool Shed:
It’s a beautiful collection of very cool “sheds”: from mountain-top cabins, through fishing shacks to an inspired library-in-shipping-container. It also includes various writing, painting and other working locations.