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The modern office - three changes to look for in 2016

13th Jan 2016
a futuristic office
iStock/StNazkul

A great man once sung ‘the times they are a changing'. Lo and behold; he was right, albeit an obtuse statement to say the least! As we get more and more advanced in terms of technology, we also learn more about ourselves and our capabilities. We learn how to make the most of our time, resources, and what helps us stay happy and productive at work. More and more businesses are recognising how implementing small changes are transforming their workplace, and encouraging employees like never before.

iWork: Rush hour traffic could be a thing of the past…

Perhaps one of the biggest changes in the modern office, and first on the list to see go into overdrive in 2016, is working remotely. Look out for more businesses offering flexibility in both the hours and the location categories. 

The great technology gods have enabled us to access and work on data from the other side of the city; even the world. Remote access to live servers means that many IT dependant jobs will move more and more towards cutting out the commute in 2016. You might be able to work from home, or another more local location with better facilities. Video conferencing and online phone calls mean that you can be at the meeting without starting the drive before sunrise. 

According to last years studies from CBI – around 60% of businesses in 2014 were taking advantage of remote work. That percentage has likely increased to the present date, and trends show it will continue to do so!

Happy as Larry

Whoever Larry is, he must be working his socks off. More and more, workplaces are realising that getting the most out of your employees means sparing the lash, and providing some perks! There are prestigious grants and awards for businesses of all shapes and scales who are voted the best places to work by their employees. Projecting the successes of previous winners into 2016, workplaces are looking to bring more joy into their offices. So there are big benefits for the employer, but a lot for the employees too.

Little changes go a long way, and in 2016 – you can look for more frequent, smaller breaks for things like social media, a little fresh air, or some ‘down-time’ to unwind. These little perks have meant that employees will be much more happy to go to work, and a happy employee means a better attitude, work ethic, environment and productivity goes up too! Businesses lost millions of hours in 2015 due to ‘scrolling & surfing’ during office hours, but clever implementation of these permitted times means that the time is contained, and used to the company’s advantage.

Smaller businesses have generally been the first to open up to more seemingly ‘relaxed’ office environments, dependant on the type of business. Medium and larger businesses in the coming year will see the benefits though, and find a good balance that brings a happier, healthier working environment.

How many words does a video paint?

Forget slideshows and long presentations. Video is easier and easier to shoot for the individual, and in good quality with just the phone in your pocket. Coupled with accessibly priced editing software, this combo means that more and more companies will be ditching long, drawn out and wordy presentations, for a more superior animal. 

Video means that you can say more, faster, and in a more engaging way. It also means that pre-recording affords you much more play than standing in front of your audience. While public presentation and speaking is a great skill to have, the cost of not honing that skill is far outweighed by the benefit of the communication platform of video. In 2016 we’ll see companies produce more short movies for a variety of purposes outside of advertising; office training, recruitment, memos. They’ll access videos to present information to their customers, during training, and even post more quick clips on social media with in-house adverts being easier to master.

The modern office will engage with social media much more too, and provide transparency into the workplace. Expect some Instagram pictures of what you’re all up to, and ‘behind the scenes’ of the business to strengthen clients' relationships and loyalty to brands and businesses.

Conclusion

All in all, it looks like it’s going to be a technology-driven year ahead. Evolving at a rapid pace, we’re likely to see the workplace transform even quicker in the next few years too. Some people don’t handle change too well, and it can be hard to adjust to workplace changes, however these don’t seem too scary. The modern office is shaping up to be a happier, more engaging, healthier and more productive place to be. It’s benefits galore for the customers and companies alike; bring on 2016!

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