I recently took part in a Q&A with one of our UK&I partners, Videocall, in support of their campaign on ‘Whether the perfect office environment exists?”
It was a good opportunity to get my thoughts down on paper; I found it an interesting exercise! Below you can find a taster of what we talked about. You can also see the full Q&A here.
How do you see the employees of the future working?
83% of enterprise employees around the world already use video conferencing solutions at home today, and 56% of business leaders and managers expect video to be their most preferred collaboration tool in 2016. That means that the employees of the future will be communicating over video, there’s no doubt about it. I for one hope that video collaboration eliminates the convoluted email trail. Imagine how much more we would all achieve if we didn’t have to trawl through an inbox!
Within ten years distance will become largely irrelevant. We will work in a location agnostic way, fitting our work around our lives and responsibilities, not the other way round. I look forward to the diversity this will bring to the workforce as we make it easier for parents, carers or those with specific needs to work in a way that benefits both them and their employer.
What will happen to the office of the future?
The office will continue to exist, but the face of it will change. Offices will be more flexible, with different spaces for different kinds of collaboration. Work will become something we do, not a place we go. The office will take on a new vibrancy as a creative collaboration hub rather than somewhere we pass the hours from nine till five. There will still be a need for some office space, as some people prefer to work this way, but it will be more suited to employee needs. That might mean more ‘watercooler’ areas that foster the casual conversation that leads to a ‘eureka’ moment; these will become what we call huddle spaces, equipped with voice, video and content collaboration for impromptu sessions.
Could you describe the perfect office environment? Does it exist?
The perfect office environment is whatever best suits the needs of your business and your employees. In my opinion that is always going to be a shifting set of goalposts, so having an office that is flexible and scalable is the perfect solution. Creating offices in the cloud is a way to achieve this, with Polycom Virtual Meeting Rooms you can enable your employees to collaborate without physically building any more space. These VMRs can be increased and decreased both in size and number as the need changes.