The office of the future is undoubtedly virtual and the shift has already happened!

In the 1950s, companies started using the "bullpen" style of office layout. It was designed to ensure that there was a strict hierarchy (managers had offices), and employees were clearly visible across the floor.

 

This style of office transitioned in the 1970s to a cubicle style layout, which allowed more privacy and personalised work areas. Cubicles helped improve worker satisfaction, following from an increase in workplace research and the rise of psychology as a profession.

 

The 1990s saw the rise of the open plan layout, which promoted flat hierarchies, creativity and open communication. This became increasingly important as work moved from the desk on to the desktop, isolating workers from their team in the process.

 

The 2010s saw an explosive rise in flexible workplaces. Driven by millennials increasingly concerned with work/life balance, access to travel, and communication tools such as Knack, the office of the future is one that exists at home, in co-working spaces, and anywhere that comfort exists.

 

The viral pandemic of 2020 /2021 changed the way that management communicated with their staff. Virtual meetings with tools like Zoom became part of everyday work life and free team collaboration software tools like Knack were used more often.  

 

Will this trend mean less demand for physical office-space? We think this is highly likely. Will it mean more demand for cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions and less on-premise servers? We think definately. The truth is that the shift has already started to happen, it is really a question of whether or not companies will want to go back to forcing employees to commute to and from work as they did before, or embrace the new way of working as the way of the future.

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