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Credit crunch will change work forever

22 October 2008

Research conducted by Johnson Controls Global Workplace Solutions amongst the world’s leading businesses has showed how changing economic conditions will transform how we work forever.

The credit crunch, rising energy prices and the need to economise will affect the way we work forever
More than 97 percent of those surveyed agreed that the biggest challenge ahead in business is the prospect of tackling energy supply and the increasing cost of energy – making the need to reduce energy consumption in the workplace a priority.

Today’s tough economic conditions combined with the ever increasing costs of running and maintaining a major property portfolio mean many businesses are now looking at ‘sustainability’ from a fresh perspective – whilst good for the environment, it’s now also seen as being good for business.

How we make our workplaces more efficient, both the buildings themselves and how the space within them is used, is now a major priority for businesses around the world.

Taking these trends and developing them further, Johnson Control’s ‘WorkPlace Futures’ research has looked at how the workplace will be in 2030 and has predicted a scenario where we must adopt new ways of working and change our behaviour towards work in order to reduce the total cost of occupancy, increase efficiency and improve productivity within the workplace.

This research has shown that:
- 77 percent of businesses agree multi use office complexes will be commonplace
- 83 percent agreed flexible working will lead to the most significant value return
- 66 percent agreed increased technology costs will not restrict the drive for mobility and that technology will not be a barrier to mobility
- 83 percent agreed that engaging employees with future workplace planning, strategies and solution could provide an answer to sustain tomorrow’s workplace

In the future, we are likely to see individuals being increasingly networked - connecting virtually and reducing the need to come into the office or meet in person. These virtual networks will increase business efficiency, reduce the need for travel and cut down on costs.

Home working will become increasingly common place and offices will be designed as a hub to meet and share ideas. ‘To go to work’ will no longer mean going to the office on a regular basis.

As offices increasingly become communal meeting points, the workplace of the future will comprise a large proportion of collaborative spaces rather than individually allocated desk space. Accordingly, the size of the average corporate property portfolio is likely to reduce, as is the footprint of the average office.

Green office policies will be the norm and a business energy management strategy will sit along side the marketing and sales strategy with equal priority.

Author of the research, Dr Marie Puybaraud, comments: ‘We do not need to look far to see that many of the changes predicted in the ‘WorkPlace Futures’ research have already started to take place. The cost of ‘running’ a business has never been so high and many leading organisations are already starting to rethink the ‘workplace’. Reducing the need for travel, changing the function of the traditional ‘office’ to reduce its size, and implementing comprehensive energy management strategies are all increasingly commonplace and have set us off down a road that will transform our daily working lives.’


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