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Future of Work

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02 | FUTURE OF WORK 06 / 12 / 2015 | RACONTEUR raconteur.net COMMERCIAL FEATURE of UK professionals believe co-working inspires innovation HOW A NEW BREED OF WORKER IS TRANSFORMING THE WORKSPACE Tomorrow's worker is forcing companies to abandon traditional working practices in favour of co-working structures that encourage creativity. By embracing flexibility, the concept of the workplace is slowly being replaced by the workspace Increasing demands for co-working spaces are providing the foundation for companies of the future to emerge and flourish. With modern working environments becoming a key decision-making tool for tomorrow's talent pool, says flexible workspace provider Regus, businesses must adapt their thinking in order to attract and retain the best workers. Flexibility is more than just a highly prized employee benefit. Increasingly, today's workers expect employers to move beyond the outdated concept of the fixed hours, fixed location role so common to generations past. It is a jobseekers market and, when it comes to deciding how they work, more than anything top talent wants flexibility, opportunities to collaborate and an unconstrained working environment. But there is more to the future of work than the way people do their jobs. More and more, it is about where and how they do it. A recent report from Regus reveals that 45 per cent of UK workers are now based outside their main office for more than half the week. Of course, employers want to know that such a flexible approach can work. In fact, the evidence is compelling. Employe e s who are able to choose when they work, where they work and how they work are known to be more motivated, engaged and productive. Research commissioned by Regus last year confirms this point with 81 per cent of the senior business people polled indicating that flexible working improves business productivity. Understandably, demand for flexible workspace is rising, and the working patterns of today's workers are instrumental in shaping these spaces for today and beyond. The latest workspaces accommodate the requirement for a range of different working styles within one area, meeting the variable needs of organisations and individuals. So meeting rooms are available for privacy and quiet, "hot desks" are available for drop- in workers on the move, and collaborative "co-working" spaces facilitate the sharing of ideas and contacts in a relaxed, yet professional, atmosphere. "There has been much discussion about the flexible workspaces of the future," says Richard Morris, Regus UK chief executive. "Increasingly, they are being shaped by the people who use them, by people who want to collaborate with like-minded individuals and enjoy the freedom to define their 'work station' as anywhere they decide to sit down." From within this more flexible style of working, the concept of co-working has emerged as one of the fastest-growing trends of recent years. Co-working describes shared- working environments, where professionals from a number of different organisations work alongside each other. Collaboration with other like-minded workers is one of the big advantages of such an approach. Bouncing ideas off different teams and sharing concepts with developers from other businesses can be a powerful catalyst for innovation, creativity and, ultimately, productivity. This becomes increasingly important as more and more organisations measure employee performance based on their output and productivity, rather than the number of hours they spend sitting at a desk. There is also a compelling business case for using shared spaces. According to the 2015 GCUC/Emergent Research Co-working Sur vey, 8 4 per cent of workers said they were more engaged and motivated when co -working . Regus's own research backs this up, with three fifths of respondents claiming co -wo r k in g in sp ire s entrepreneurial thinking (6 1 p e r c e n t) a n d innovation (60 per cent). "Organisations are increasingly recognising the need to provide their staff with workspaces that accommodate their diverse expectations, encompassing their definition of what work is, where it takes place and when it should happen," says Mr Morris. "Even though the origins of co-working lie with entrepreneurs and very small businesses, it has become increasingly relevant for much larger firms and traditional companies to incorporate the model of flexibility and co-working into their business strategy, creating the right kind of workspace to drive productivity and growth." As well as boosting productivity and creativity, flexible working can impact positively on an individual's health. With employee wellbeing taking on increasing prominence on the corporate agenda, companies are becoming more aware of the role played by the work environment. A flexible workspace that facilitates mindfulness, encourages interaction with different people every day, and allows employees to choose which part of the physical workspace will be their "desk" for the day, boosts a sense of satisfaction, motivation and overall wellbeing. Indeed, when it comes to planning the space where their staff will work, employers need to listen to their employees. As a recent survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed, almost half of UK employees don't like their working environment. This has serious implications for companies striving to recruit and retain talent. If employees don't have flexibility within their work location, there is a greater chance of them looking for it elsewhere. Four fifths of those surveyed by RICS said their workplace had a bearing on their decision to stay in their current job. Mr Morris concludes: "Clearly the days of the fixed location, rigid hours job are numbered. The latest generation of employees has very different demands and expectations when it comes to the world of work. Already we are seeing the future of work is one where the workspace adapts to the worker – not the other way around. In terms of productivity, creativity and wellbeing, the benefits are clear, and workspace will evolve to provide the environment that supports all these things." Regus is the world's largest provider of workspace, with a global network of 2,600 locations across 106 countries. Founded in Brussels, in 1989, the company is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information please visit www.regus.co.uk The latest workspaces accommodate the requirement for a range of different working styles within one area, meeting the variable needs of organisations and individuals 45% 85% 60% 81% 45% of senior business people feel that flexible working improves productivity of UK professionals work outside their main office for more than half the week Future is here or round the corner Bold new technologies reshaping work are either already with us or within touching distance. Here are eight rampant trends your company needs to deal with 01 VIRTUAL REALITY Microsoft and Volvo are joining forces to offer virtual reality car tours. Microsoft's HoloLens will let consumers "see" hidden car features, such as crash bars, change the colour of the car and even go on VR test drives. HoloLens is a pretty jaw-dropping technology. It's a headset which overlays reality with solid looking holograms. In - stead of creating, say, a gearbox on a com- 03 INTERNET OF THINGS Yes, there's mockery. Do we really need internet connected kettles, toasters and belts (made by Emiota, it tracks your waistline)? Maybe not. But the internet of things is just getting started. Pretty much everything will be connected to the internet. Even cows. In any given year, 05 OPEN SOURCE Did you know Android is open source? You can go online to Android Open Source Project and make your own ver- sion. The Firefox browser is open source. The Linux operating system is used by 485 of the top 500 supercomputers and around 65 per cent of the active web 07 DRIVERLESS CARS The implication of driverless cars isn't obvious. At first we'll go to the pub, drink and zoom back again while over the limit. But then what? Actually, driverless cars are going to be a very, very big deal. 02 BIG DATA Famously baffling, big data is now start- ing to demonstrate its worth in business- es of all sizes. In essence, data scientists look for patterns in pools of data too large for humans to sift through manually. For example, supermarkets use big data to work out how many courgettes to order each day based on sales, cross-selling and dozens of other metrics. Two things are promoting big data. The first is that com - panies are waking up to the fact they don't 04 APPLIFICATION If you have a few silver streaks in your hair, you may remember PCs from the 1980s. They were pretty awful to use. Typing stuff like *dir in a com - mand terminal to move directory... yuk. Today? Toddlers can use iPads. Everything is getting easier to use. This trend is vital in business. Interfaces are getting simpler. The Department 06 CHATBOTS This tech went from silly to serious in about a year. Siri hit the iPhone and sud- denly it became normal to ask a telephone to tell you the weather or set an alarm. The IBM's Watson beat the top competitors on the quiz show Jeopardy. Microsoft inte - grated Cortana into Windows 10. Gartner predicts by 2017 the cost of managed ser- 08 HACKING "In a few years there'll be enough comput- ers in your home that getting hacked and being haunted will be functionally indis- tinguishable." This comment by a Twitter comedian is eerily prescient. A user of the Philips app-controlled lightbulb reported plunging her tenants in San Francisco into darkness from Wales with a clumsy click. 8 TOP TECH TRENDS CHARLES ORTON-JONES Share this article on social media via raconteur.net puter screen in computer-aided design, you can see the fully formed object sitting on a table in front of you. With HoloLens you can "see" a video-conferencing screen on a wall and move it with a gesture. Holo - Lens will be given to developers in early- 2016. It will change architecture, engi- neering and medicine forever. Naturally Google is funding a rival, a startup called Magic Leap. HTC and Sony have VR sets coming too. 40 per cent of cows get ill and 8 per cent die. Sunburn and stomach acidosis are common. The solution? VitalHerd is a US startup making a pill swallowed by the cow to transmit health data to the farmer. Sensors capture heart rate, respiration, rumen contraction, core temperature and pH. Next up humans. server market. As a desktop operating system, Linux struggles, hence the lack of common awareness of the triumph of open source. But from tiny devices through to warships, Linux is becom - ing the default operating system. Why? Cost. Security. Familiarity. And software developed with the help of a vast open source community. Commuters can sleep in vehicles, arriv - ing at work on time. Driverless cars may dock together for efficiency. They may render high-speed rail obsolete. Retail, holidays, logistics and city planning will all change when the first driv- erless cars arrive. need to be geniuses to use it. Consultan- cies such as eCommera or Blue Yonder do the hard work and tweak the algorithms for clients. Second is the prevalence of use-cases. Lufthansa uses big data to es - timate the number of no-shows per flight. Each flight gets its own calculation based on multiple variables including booking demographics. This shapes the overbook - ing policy. With 80 million passengers a year using Lufthansa, it's the only way to produce accurate forecasts for each and every flight. for Business, Innovation & Skills im - proved the performance of accountants by introducing intuitive dashboards, stripping out extraneous data. The new F35 fighter jet massively reduces pilot information to improve concen - tration. Simpler user interfaces take less time to learn, are more fun to use and enjoy wider adoption. Everything should be as easy to use as a mobile app, hence "applification". vices will fall 60 per cent due to chatbot services. The goal is to create superin- telligent assistants who can converse in complex and unstructured formats, and then take action. A great illustration is the film Her featuring Scarlett Johansson as a chatbot so real she doubles up as a ro - mantic partner. Futurist and Google head of research Ray Kurzweil forecasts the ar- rival of virtual "ScarJos" in 2029. Hackers pose a more serious threat. A report by HP says 70 per cent of connected devices contain "serious vulnerabilities". We've already had smart TVs which listen to keywords in users' conversations and sell the data to advertisers. If security is not increased, the application of technolo - gy in the home and workplace will be seri- ously diminished. The time for taking this issue seriously is long overdue.

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