Business Management

Will the 'future of work' make employees more productive?

“The workplace has always been a fluid concept, from factories and workshops, to offices and coffee shops,” says Paul Clarke, Head of UK at unified communications provider, 3CX. “This trend of a workplace being anything anywhere, according to the needs of the times, is set to continue – with the virtual office simply the next logical step.”

Over the last few years it has been impossible to ignore the rising tide of vendors, pundits and academics, all weighing in on the future of work. This covers a continuation of all the changes we’ve seen in recent years – from flexible working to consumer grade technology – and the promise of ever more personalized spaces when we are in the office. But can the reality ever really live up to the hype?

Well, first of all there are a lot of studies out there – mostly commissioned by vendors – which don’t necessarily yield the same results. Take ‘flexibility’ for example. Most of the initial evidence suggests that employees want the freedom to work where they choose, and if they get it, they do more work for the company. In management speak this is ‘empowerment’.

The automated office of the future may lead to robot colleagues and more baristas but not fewer jobs… Office 2021: Why robots won’t end drudgery or steal our jobs

“Something that I think isn’t talked about nearly enough,” says Karen Field, CEO of Microsoft recruitment partner, Curo Talent “is the fact that the IT sector, which, by nature, should enable remote working, hasn’t moved away from the inflexible office environment.”

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