In today’s world it can be difficult to measure the human innovations and advancements that the future will bring. Since America put a man on the moon, the world has seen generations of people striving to open doors and leap out of their box. The human, as living being, is a naturally curious creature.
Hundreds of people have written about the achievements of man in the last 100 years in every aspect of our life. The ways we communicate, the ways we commute and ultimately the ways we work.
Above every achievement, change and advancement in the way we work, technology I think will have the most impact in our future.
The future of work
Twenty years ago, only the wealthy companies would have computers and now all you need to own a company is a computer and it would be madness not to use one in business.
What is the future of work? I have no real idea, but I have made some predictions!
We will become more and more enabled (not driven) by technology and as a workplace professional told me at the end of 2018; ‘the jobs people will be looking for in 2 years’ time, don’t actually exist today’.
Enabling technology looks at both people and the management of our spaces and real estate.
The way we work has changed, but only in the last few years. Moving from cubicles and/or open plan to the new and more optimal approaches like agile working, flexible working and activity-based working.
The concept of being activity based and flexible is a bit like the concept of your own home. There are areas set out for different tasks. The kitchen for eating and the bedroom for sleeping etc.
At work we have different tasks to perform and different people to talk to. In the past it was expected for an employee to complete these tasks and functions all from one ‘type’ of environment. Their desk or cubicle. This isn’t impossible but it makes things unnecessarily difficult for the employee. If they need to work in silence and they are sat in the buzz of an open plan area then finding their focus is going to be difficult.
The answer to this is through the methodology created by the American architect, Robert Luchetti, back in the 1970’s. Activity-based analysis of office work modes/settings. It’s a simple methodology based around the need for spaces for different functions. Silent zones, collaborations areas, creative spaces, standard desks and meeting spaces are the minimum requirement in todays workplace.
Activity Based Working
Activity based working isn’t just about functional spaces. A huge part of it is collaboration and people. Veldhoen Company the activity based working experts tell us the following:
“Activity Based Working (ABW) is about you and your colleagues. It is about organising your work in a more productive and enjoyable way”
There are some small draw backs to working in these free-address and flowy workplaces. The certainty of space can be small, let alone the certainty of the ‘right’ space. This is where we as humans need to be enabled by simple, seamless and relevant workplace technology. The perfect workplace for both people and the business would be a SMART ABW environment. A combination of user focused workplace experience technology and carefully created spatial design where regeneration has been considered for different times of the year.
With this move towards agile and activity based we can see how we are changing the way we work. Giving people choice of environment and an element of flexibility can increase their productivity and happiness levels.
When we mention flexible, this includes the when and where we work. In the last 5 years employers all around the world have opened up to the idea of working from home. Combined with activity based working or agile working, a flexible working scheme can prove a powerful ally.
What does the future hold? I’m not entirely sure however I do know that these new ways of working will be continuously improved. We’ll also be armed and empowered by innovative workplace technologies that enable us to complete our tasks and day to day lives in a more efficient way. Its quite exciting to think about!