A robotic workforce, space travel, and even greater remote working possibilities – who knows exactly what the future of work will look like but it’s fair to say that the potential has never been so different.
But does the future fill you with excitement or does automation and AI instill you with a sense of dread?
With technology advancing at such an astonishing rate, the future probably isn’t as far away as we might initially think. So, where exactly is the world of work going? And what is driving the change we are already seeing today? The Evening Standard recently investigated…
Before we move forward, we first need to take stock of our current situation. Fibre optic broadband, 4G, smartphones and laptops have all made it easier to work almost anywhere. This ability to work remotely then fuelled the desire for many workers to break away from monotonous office culture. They no longer had to work 9-5 in the office every single day and were being drawn to companies that provided more flexible ways of working.
But, of course, some businesses and industries can’t feasibly provide remote working. In many cases, these companies implement a no-desk policy, hot-desking or opt for limited seating in order to provide their staff with a change to their working day.
Meanwhile, co-working spaces provide small business and startups with the opportunity to work in an office environment without the costs of running their own office space. And, as co-working spaces become more popular, they will likely undergo further transformation, moving from spaces into clubs that understand work isn’t just about being sat at a desk.
The Evening Standard noted that the Ministry of Sound’s new shared workspace, The Ministry , is an example of how co-working spaces are already starting to evolve. The members club and shared workspace features four floors of private offices and shared working areas, meeting spaces, soundproof studios, an immersive tech suite, as well as a restaurant, bar, outdoor terrace, 40-seater cinema, and a large event space.
As The Ministry explains: “This is not the standard, dreary, dispiriting working environment or pretentious members’ club, but a place built by creatives for creatives.”
Offices, in whatever format and wherever they are, will also become key tools in helping to combat the issues harming today’s workforce. From over-working and not switching off to sedentary lifestyles, there are a lot of problems currently affecting individuals, businesses and the wider economy. Workspaces will continue to evolve to provide workers with an environment that boosts happiness, productivity and well being.
Knomo and Microsoft’s interactive, pop-up exhibition, called ‘The Dream Office’, taking place in Covent Garden aims to get visitors to question their current working lives. The space is “questioning the relevancy of 9-5 life and the evolving needs of the workforce.”
While a lot of businesses will be getting into the rhythm of collaborative tools and advancing technologies, there will also be innovative thinkers working on ways in which to disrupt our working lives in ways we didn’t even think would be possible.
Both Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are investigating space travel to give flexible working a whole new meaning. It could, in theory, mean that someone could live in London and commute to Australia. But who knows if and when this will ever become a real possibility.
We don’t have a crystal ball that can tell us exactly what the future of work will look like, but it seems incredibly likely that technology and office design and culture will continue to evolve to stop workers from being chained to their desks, with more emphasis on collaborative working and employee happiness.
For that reason, we believe the future of work can only be viewed as an exciting opportunity.
If you’d like to get started on creating your future office, speak to Kerr today.