The modern workplace is a dynamic space, and one which has experienced great change over recent years. From the days of the typical corner office we have expanded towards open-plan offices and onwards to pod-working spaces. Now we face a new evolution, according to research recently undertaken by Epson.

According to Epson, Europe’s office of tomorrow will no longer adopt the ‘traditional’ open-plan floor space, but instead, offices will comprise smaller spaces and customised working environments for specific groups of employees. This is the view according to 66 percent of the more than 7,000 European workers interviewed as part of their research exploring the workplace of tomorrow. But the office space revolution does not end there!

The rise of the virtual office

The physical office we know today is undergoing an evolution that some argue might see traditional spaces cease to exist in coming years. Today’s working landscape is one defined by connectivity, and that connectivity is having a startling impact on how we work.

Our research revealed that of those European workers surveyed, 65 percent believe that as offices become smaller and more remote, collaborative technology will enable the workforce to increasingly work from home. What’s more, according to 62 percent of respondents, this remote revolution will have a positive impact on productivity.

According to Eurofund, an average of 17 percent of workers in the EU28 are already remote working in some capacity in their current roles, framing a more flexible modern working environment enabled by the connected nature of today’s industry.

Technology is unlikely to remove the physical office entirely, but according to our research it’s on track to deliver radical evolution through technological transformation. Aside from connectivity, customisation will play a key role in this. Fully 65 percent of respondents believe that tailored technology will be on-hand in this new office space for each individual employee’s needs. As a result, office architects and designers will grow to become important partners for organisations, helping to ensure the office environment successfully transitions into the workplace of tomorrow.

Global virtual collaboration

Alongside this shift within the physical workplace, the move towards remote working through technology will support even greater collaboration between local and global employees. According to 71 percent of respondents, future meeting rooms will be entirely virtual, with employees based in workspaces around the globe using technologies such as AR and holographic projectors to join real-time workgroups, opening up a potential pool of truly global talent for industry.

This remote future comes with its own challenges, not least the possible impact on employee engagement. Our research reveals that 68 percent of respondents believe people will feel less engaged with their company as the workplace becomes more remote, less team orientated and more impersonal.

It seems then, as the office of tomorrow evolves so too will the need for organisations to deliver even greater employee engagement. The ultimate reward for this customised, collaborative office of tomorrow, is a truly interconnected future global workplace.

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