A look at some potential offices of the future:
It does seem crazy as so many people now commute just to log into a network connection in a big glass building. I do wonder if in the future the only people regularly coming to the office will be the cleaners and the bosses. Most knowledge workers will be creating their own innovative environment, either at home or in communal spaces which avoid the demotivating and environmentally unfriendly commute to the office. I think we had similar aspirations when the paperless office was always promoted but virtual and communal environments start to mirror the way an increasing number of people now want to live – not tied to a physical building but integrating work / life balance.
Social tools enabling networking, collaboration and knowledge sharing are essential to achieve this, as is good Wi-Fi connection. But the main issue will be one of trust. Trust in the employee (or partners, associate or whatever we will be called); trust in the cloud and the virtual and physical spaces we attend; and trust that the organisational has a real belief in cultural change and see it as a major shift in the way they conduct business.