Key Advice Blog

Top four trends for future workplaces

Posted on: 05/12/2011

As we near the end of the year of revolutions, it is worth noting the quiet one going on in redesigning how we work. Future workplaces look set to model freelancers’ style – using a more open, free-style work practice and environment. It is all about mobility, flexibility and connectivity.

It is well-known amongst freelancers that working from home can be very productive – with the ability to create a personalized workspace, choose the most productive time to work (based on your body clock) and not be caught up in day-to-day office culture that can be time consuming. So what are traditional workplaces borrowing from homeworkers?

Cindy Krischer Goodman’s story for McClatchy Newspapers (MCT), highlights the findings of “Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work” co-authors Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson. They found companies are looking closely at the workspace and doing away with cubicles, in favour of coffee-shop interior design. They are getting rid of schedules, in favour of a work to the task not the time clock approach. The movement is gathering strength, but not everyone is jumping on board.

 At the Washington Work-Life Focus conference, Goodman reports although there is evidence to support rewarding productivity instead of time, many companies don’t want to move away from traditional practices – yet.

 However, those implementing the changes can look for these new definitions for the old standards:

  1. Time management = choose your own working hours.
  2. The office =  home, coffee shop, anywhere. Telecommuting is in.
  3. Management leadership = move to ‘enabling’ rather than ‘controlling’.
  4. Networking  = meeting will be done virtually and using social media.

New technology – like Skype, videoconferencing, Google chat – is making this easy, efficient and inexpensive to adapt to the new world of work. The change is coming. All organizations have to do is decide whether to lead or follow.

Has your organization tried it? What is it like for you?

Other stories:

The 2020 Workplace

The Workplace of the Future

Kate is now working from a small town in BC with a client in Alberta, visiting the office occasionally. Skype, videoconferencing, intranet sharing are now daily work tools.

 

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