More and more of us are, or will be, working in both non-traditional ways and places, including from home, and in a local and global manner. As we become more mobile, the need for traditional office space will shrink even further leaving many buildings sitting idle.
69% of global facility managers, architects and designers anticipate that employers should provide employees more options for working from home.
Thus Alternative Workplace Arrangement (AWA) has been introduced. Work space for employees working from home will be both a challenge and an opportunity. In the future, perhaps employers will need to offer ergonomic furniture even for remote workers.
A challenge in this development is keeping together corporate culture. Even if the ability of third place working – the home, a café or a library – does empower many people, the possible lack of interaction on a regular basis might threaten the corporate culture, or even refrain it to become one. This was one of the reasons why Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer in 2013 banned any remote or third place working. Instead, all Yahoo’s employees had to be at the offices, since being together at work has a potential of building a strong and fruitful corporate culture. If the office is a place you want to be at, then people will gather there instead of remote places.
However, it seems like the pop-up workplace is here to stay. Cafés are turning into places where professionals can work in a fully equipped space, and not be nervous about being thrown out after finishing their coffee, and in some places, it’s possible to rent rooms to work - thus the role of cafe and co-working space is blurred.
Also, new places of solitude are being discovered first by individuals and then harnessed by the market. For instance, the demand for workspace is reversing the decline in popularity of public libraries. They are being used less for book lending, and more as a quiet place where students and mobile workers can work in peace. The traditional reading room experience is revived with wifi, power outlets and coffee machines. Our new, global and local office has many, unexpected rooms for work, but they all seem to work for the micro-multinational.
This article has been taken from the Kinnarps Trend Report 2015. Click here to download the full research paper.