Challenges in developing the workspace of the future

Posted on January 14, 2016

From Google to Yahoo and Facebook, the layout of the workplace is changing. Companies are fast recognising that intercommunication, efficiency and innovation are linked. An office space that is designed to achieve all three can become home to several high-performing teams.

The present challenge

The challenge for today's organisations is to develop a next-generation workspace that can embrace a new business model and is characterised by smart gadgets, social media, cloud-based services, high-definition video and the ever-growing Internet of Things.

It does get more complicated - offices of the future by their very nature will be dynamic. At the core must be the network. As more and more employees work from any location, the network must be flexible enough to follow them and deliver the performance they demand.

In fact, it is user preferences and style that will determine the work environment. Simply put, it is the profile of the business that will follow the workers instead of the other way around.

How to optimise space

The idea is to recognise that it is not our notion of the next generation workspace that is the solution. As Harvard Business Review bloggers Ben Waber, Jennifer Magnolfi and Greg Lindsay put it: "We just take old ideas, put them into a kind of kaleidoscope, and turn".

An optimised office is one where the nature of the flexibility we offer is user-driven. We can no longer dictate what should happen. Instead we need to take a holistic view and understand how IT operations can be used to satisfy customer demands, and innovate at the same time.

In addition to this, users are asking for more than the flexibility to collaborate within the office - moving forward we need to build capacity for employees to collaborate at a global level. And the network is at the core to deliver a fast, secure and always available experience.

The challenge in getting to the office of the future

There is no "final destination" as far as the office of the future is concerned; however, we know that it is shaping up to be a highly network-oriented, multipurpose place. Boundaries are being redefined.

Ultimately, what the analysis will reveal is intelligence that will have a huge impact on how businesses optimise their technology investments.