Future working styles will make office a place of occasional use, according to a study by global workplace solutions provider Regus and Unwired Venture.

Listed on the London Stock exchange, Regus is a global provider of serviced office space at 1,100 locations in 500 cities and 88 countries. It has over eight lakh people using its services and its clientele include Google, GlaxoSmithKline and Nokia, besides a host of multinationals that have outsourced a majority of their office and workplace requirements to the services provider.

In India, Regus has 22 serviced offices in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur, Delhi and Bangalore with plans to open 14 more. In Mumbai alone, it has six such offices.

The study, encompassing 600 executives across the globe, said 51 per cent felt that office would become a place for occasional use as a result of future work styles.

“As the concept of virtuality gains ground, monetising agility and creating a robust business case for changing the way we work will become essential,” said Mr Madhusudan Thakur, Regional Vice-President, South Asia, Regus.

The future of work will involve organisations moving towards a more flexible work model where employees would be allowed to buy their own office space.

Corporations would be able to leverage this as they move away from the historic one-person-one-desk approach to work provision, he said.

EMPTY DESK

Mr Phillip Ross, Chief Executive Officer, Unwired Ventures, which conducted the study, said: “As the utilisation of an office today is typically only 45 per cent, empty desks no longer make sense in a world where mobility and agility will become accepted by people as the most effective and sustainable way of working.”

Unwired specialises in the future of work, through research, forecasting, publishing and events.

It predicts the way that patterns of work will change as a result of political, socioeconomic and technological trends. It has published over 50 research reports.

NO TO TRADITIONAL OFFICE

Interestingly, 59 per cent of respondents said they no longer struggle to work effectively outside the workplace while 64 per cent believed that the ideal commute to work should be less than 20 minutes. Twenty-five per cent want less than a 10 minute commute.

Currently, 32 per cent of the respondents who work for large organisations spend 41 minutes to an hour commuting every day and 27 per cent spend over an hour.

However, 79 per cent felt they had the right technology to be productive in their workplace and were increasingly given technology enablers to be able to work from any location.

A majority believed that younger workers — the Millennials and the generation still at school — would be more accepting of virtual working and reject the traditional office.

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