Many people do not realize this, but all across the nation the rooms that we associate with the modern business – the rooms in which the work that keeps the company up and running is done, where computers and physical files are kept and where the majority of the work force in industrialized countries are employed – are shrinking.
That is only half of the picture. This means that we are now going to have more office workers crammed into smaller offices. More individual jobs are also expected to come into existence over the next five years.
Another new and increasing tendency of managers today is to assign parts of their projects to employees while expecting them to do those parts elsewhere and/or not in the workplace, as well as an increase of “teleworking,” whereby individuals do the required work in their own places of residence. Work-at-home jobs are swiftly rising in demand among employees, thanks to the convenience, comfort and ease that usually comes with working at home. There is also a rapid development of “space on demand” and “third places” such as co-working. All of these factors are combining to further this trend towards more office employees in smaller and smaller workplaces.
Beyond those, there is also the factor of virtual offices to consider. Companies now can hire people to answer calls, send emails, and do work without requiring them to be physically present. There are many requests on job websites for ‘virtual assistants’ who work from home, sometimes without ever actually meeting their employer in person. The emergence of programs like Skype, not to mention the ever-increasing use of smartphones, allows employers a wide variety of methods and ways to communicate with workers, thereby lessening the need for face to face interaction.
The business world and typical office are both changing. Don’t fight it.