This article is based on a recent report, titled “Agility @ Work,” by Regus Group and Unwired Ventures that surveyed the collective insight of successful global organizations like Barclays, Nokia and the BBC. The report highlights six growing trends in the workplace. These six “predictive factors” are each addressed by corporate strategies that together will enable proactive companies “to cut the working cost per employee by more than half.” The factors are:
- Culture and Workstyle – Teleworking and other forms of remote officing will continue to grow. Companies are advised to embrace the flexible workplace concept by moving away from management by physical supervision to a results-based approach that empowers employees by delegating to them the operational details of their work.
- Transport – An average 80 minute commute each day makes work-life balance difficult to achieve. Successful companies will cut down on employee travel requirements by developing “polycentric work environments” and accelerating the adoption of new technology.
- People – For the first time in history there are four generations of employees at work. Companies are advised to carefully profile the needs of each to increase efficiency and productivity. The article envisions this as a stopgap measure until the arrival of the Net-Gen, still in school, who are the first to live online and “fully embrace and exploit the virtual workplace in its entirely.”
- Real Estate – Real estate costs will continue to rise, causing companies to abandon the idea of a complex of offices in different cities for a single, thinly manned central office and an array of remote employees sitting in home offices and café-styled environments.
- Technology – New technology will enable the real estate environment envisioned in the fourth factor above. Better wi-fi technology is expected soon, as are improved devices and unified software interfaces that provide telephony and messaging to a person, not a desk. All of these are expected to make the “work anywhere” model a reality.
- Cubicle Sustainability – Two major contributors of carbon emissions are commercial buildings and commuting to those buildings. The first five factors above will have a big impact on sustainability that the article says will grow as more and more businesses begin to implement Agility@ Work.