Work Is Not a Place Anymore, so Do We Need Office Space?

"Work is not a place anymore. It's a lifestyle" - But are business centers keeping up with the changing face of workplace culture?

Two and a half years ago, Cisco asked a pointed question: Is the office really necessary? At that time, the networking giant’s workplace study revealed that three of five workers around the world don’t think it’s necessary to work in an office anymore in order to be productive.

If Cisco did that survey again today, the chances are even more would agree.

A lot has changed in two and a half years. The virtual office revolution is in full play. Coworking has become a mainstream alternative workspace option. And business centers are driving toward the latest trends in mobility.

Flexibility was a keyword in 2010 and it’s an even bolder keyword now. For example, two and a half years ago, employees felt strongly about having the flexibility to work anywhere that it would dictate their company loyalty (13 percent), choice of jobs (12 percent), and morale (9 percent).

Marie Hattar, vice president of Borderless Networks at Cisco says it is “clear from the research findings that the desire among employees to be more mobile and flexible in their work lifestyles is extremely strong throughout the world – as strong as salary.”

Are businesses – and more specifically business centers – keeping up with the changing face of the workforce and the office arrangements it prefers? Some are and some aren’t. The businesses that are on board with mobile work find it easier to attract the best and brightest talent. And the business centers that are catering to mobile workers are finding new revenue streams.

Two and a half years ago, Cisco reported that employees expect their choice of network-connected endpoints to broaden to non-traditional work devices like televisions and navigation screens in cars. The future is now, as the BYOD trend is raging full steam again.

“Employee mobility is a fact of life, and the business advantages are clear across many industries,” says Dave Evans, Futurist and Chief Technologist, Internet Business Solutions Group at Cisco. “Work is not a place anymore. It’s a lifestyle, and the IT profession’s role is only going to get more strategic as it tries to help businesses stay agile and increase productivity.”

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