Will business offices exist in future?

With the development of social media and new technology, many big organizations and business owners decide to reduce the floor area and explore the way to use a remote workforce. The benefits are obviously not only cutting down the day-to-day operation costs of the business but that for the staff, they can enjoy the freedom of dictating their own working hours and spend more time with their families instead of wasting the time on commuting.

Virgin chief Sir Richard Branson strongly support this view by replying in his blog saying that ” In 30 years, as technology moves forward even further, people are going to look back and wonder why offices ever existed.”  Microsoft is actually well on its way, the new Sydney office is 25% smaller than the former premises so that both rent and utilities costs have gone down substantially. Also, many big financial institutions have started working on this as well such as the Commonwealth Bank, Macquarie Bank, BHP and Suncorp.

Some employers still believe that it is worthwhile spending on office premises. They are convinced that some face-to-face communication and interaction among employees is necessary and they also fell a loss of control over remote workforce. However, Microsoft try to overcome these issues by utilising social media and cloud-based software and apps so that people can work on trains, in parks, in restaurants, on ferries. Nowadays, Microsoft manager or colleague can even praise employees and give acknowledgement for a well done job by using an app called Splash to send a message through the company.  Some other organizations use Skype, LinkedIn and WebEX – a web conferencing and meeting tool to ramp up interaction.

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