Richard Morris, UK CEO of International Workplace Group (IWG) explains how technology and flexible working patterns are transforming the way the public sector and other organisations work in the UK today
Since the Industrial Revolution, major economic and technology-driven shifts have caused significant social change. New technologies, data analytics and social networks have all had an impact on the way that people communicate, collaborate and work. As generations collide, workforces become more diverse, people are starting to take greater control over their work hours.
Businesses are beginning to appreciate that significant transformational change can offer new opportunities and that traditional workplace models could soon be a thing of the past. This article will examine the drivers transforming the world of work, as well the role of social attitudes in driving the uptake of flexible working.
The rapid acceleration of technology has changed what’s possible in UK workplaces, including the public sector. Slowly but surely, the way in which we think about offices, how we work and productivity, has started to change. According to Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey, within two years, 80% of the world’s population will own a smartphone. With the internet, cloud communications and smart devices, it’s never been easier to plug in and work from anywhere. The key to successful implementation of such technologies is creating a supportive environment with plenty of communication to make everyone feel included and empowered.
This means that the effectiveness with which organisations plan people management will be critical to long-term viability. Ensuring you have the right people, with the right skills, in the right places is key to unlocking future growth. Think too much in the short-term and you may find yourself on the back foot, unable to catch up with sudden shifts in your marketplace.
Our clients operate across many industries, and, like all businesses today, are in fierce competition to secure the best talent. A flexible, efficient workplace can be a catalyst for change, enabling businesses to extend their reach to secure the best and brightest from anywhere in the UK. Findings from IWG’s Global Business Survey found that each week, 70% of employees are working somewhere other than the office for at least one day.
More than half (53%) work remotely for half of the week or more, whilst one in 10 (11%) work outside of their company’s main office location five times a week. The pace of technological change has also pushed many businesses to reassess its real estate portfolio. No longer constricted by a defined geographical area, flexible workspace enables businesses the freedom to travel to potential clients. At our firm, we ensure that clients can be brought to offices that are modern, impressive and deliver all the requirements needed for a business to operate smoothly. Top of the range IT, Wi-Fi, friendly and professional staff and catering come together to provide businesses with a seamless experience – wherever they are.
But it’s more than this. Digitisation is providing new possibilities for collaboration in the workplace. Having all of your employees under one roof, having the same conversations with the same people day after day, might be stifling your business’ potential to grow and develop. A more collaborative space, filled with likeminded businesses and people and build around the premise of co-working, can foster greater creativity.
Businesses are increasingly recognising that more creative employees are also more productive – and that productivity is good for business.
The rapid acceleration of technology has changed what’s possible in UK workplaces, including the public sector. Slowly but surely, the way in which we think about offices, how we work and productivity, has started to change. According to Deloitte’s Mobile Consumer Survey, within two years, 80% of the world’s population will own a smartphone.
There are other notable financial benefits for businesses who make their permanent base a flexible workspace. A business can move people into a new market quickly and take them out again when required. They can put their people close to their suppliers. They can do all of this without committing to long leases and expensive relocation costs.
Technology has therefore created a modern economy that has the propensity to empower more UK businesses. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, start-up, small business or working for a larger corporation, an inspiring workspace will continue to nurture the next generation of forward-thinkers, innovators and game-changers. Businesses are rewarded in return with a highly motivated workforce and a healthy balance sheet.
International Workplace Group (IWG)
Tel: +44 (0)7584 376 533