Well, what a lot of killjoys!
According to OT’s latest snapshot poll, in which 50 readers from the global business center and serviced office industry responded, the majority believe that flexible workspace will always remain strictly business.
OT asked: Do you think offices will eventually be used primarily for socializing?
And you responded:
Why should office space be used for anything other than doing business?
It relates to the theory that workspaces are becoming more collaborative, more open and more sociable. While collaborative office design is intended to facilitate business by increasing ‘chance encounters’ and networking opportunities, there is also the theory that eventually, the requirement for office space will cease to exist altogether.
Scott Wyatt, chairman of architecture firm NBBJ, claims:
“The social side of work may soon be the only reason we have office buildings. Getting together with people in teams is where innovation happens, and makes us happy. You’re not going to be happy holed up at home doing all your work.”
Sophisticated mobile technology has made it possible for workers to remain productive outside of the office, and as flexible working trends continue to gather pace, the global workforce is gradually becoming more dispersed.
Indeed, this is fuelling the belief that the office will eventually ‘die’.
When discussing the future office, this debate is nothing new. No-one knows what the future holds, and no-one can predict the next turn of events for the workspace industry. But the office isn’t facing extinction. So long as there is business, there is a requirement for an environment in which business can take place.
The office will never die – it will evolve.
What it evolves into remains to be seen. Indeed, it might be considerably more sociable than the models with which we are currently acquainted. Private serviced offices and executive suites might become a distinguished rarity, giving way to fresh open-plan spaces, hot desks and collaborative work environments.
So perhaps the office really will become a place for socializing. One-third of OT readers think so. Do you?
Head over to the Officing Today homepage to take part in our latest poll.