As companies begin to embrace new ways of working, the traditional 9 to 5 office job is now being re-imagined.
With the introduction of greater technology, a larger emphasis on employee wellbeing and of course, increased connectivity thanks to on-the-go devices like tablets and laptops, attitudes around the 'bums on seats' workplace mentality is slowly being challenged.
Chris Hynes, Head of Office Leasing at Dexus Workplace is an advocate for change, and believes technology holds the answer. "In a recent survey across our office community, 45 per cent of respondents believe technology is the factor that will make the most impact on the workplace of the future," he says.
Tech and the office
Chris says technology in the workplace is evolving at a rapid rate. "It’s becoming clear that future changes will be driven by the needs of employees who are looking for workplaces that support better flexibility, mobility and collaboration, while contributing positively to their health and wellbeing," he says.
In a busy world where time is of the essence, an increasing number of companies are seeking ways to employ ‘invisible technology’, which Chris describes as things like real-time occupancy sensors so workspaces can be better tuned to how people actually use their space.
"Mobile connectivity and providing the ability to work from anywhere will be a game changer for space planning and use. Future workplaces will be agile, flexible and have the ability to respond quickly to suit business’s changing needs," says Chris.
As electronic filing and storage of documents becomes the new norm, the evolution of cloud and devices will have a huge impact on the way we work.
"5G and WiFi capability will be the standard, helping users connect from almost any location. While audio visual technology will be wireless and seamless, facilitating new levels of collaboration," explains Chris.
"The adoption of cloud technology will free up data storage space, reduce energy requirements and make ‘going to the office’ a different experience," he says.
Flexibility and retention
You might take your local office cafe for granted, the central commute, sun-lit space or the provided laptop that lets you work at home, but not all companies are created equal. However, Chris believes adopting flexible arrangements and investing in a positive office environment in the future is what makes an employee want to work for a company.
“Businesses shouldn’t underestimate the impact of the workspace on talent attraction and retention. The location, proximity to transport and food options, the look and feel of the office space, and the level of natural light are all factors that can contribute to the productivity of employees and how much they enjoy their workspace," says Chris.
"In our recent office community survey, ‘flexible work conditions’ was rated as the factor most likely to drive people to apply for a new role or stay with a company. This can mean working flexibly within their office, as well as at home or other locations," he says.