The future office will be increasingly mobile and flexible as companies swiftly assemble the resources necessary to meet changing business needs. Core teams will manage employees working from diverse locations — from home offices to temporary business spaces to cafés. A premium will be placed on staff members who possess a combination of technical and interpersonal skills, and can adapt quickly to change. Professionals who are able to create new products and services and identify more efficient ways to work will be among the most marketable as innovation continues to drive business. Following are key findings indicating how the workplace is expected to evolve in the coming years:
- Emerging technologies will allow a company's staff to work off–site with greater ease. Geographic location will matter less as businesses shift human and material resources around the globe in response to market opportunities.
- Increasingly, companies will depend on temporary, instant "plug and play" offices that can be established wherever needed — in commercial spaces that are fully wired and readily adaptable to the needs of business tenants, for example.
- The concept of going to work will be redefined as employees use portable,
wireless tools to communicate from any location. For business, investment in technology will be offset by substantial savings on traditional overhead expenses such as leases, property taxes and facilities maintenance.
- Ubiquitous wireless connectivity will permit people to easily collaborate with their colleagues. Advanced electronic communication devices will eliminate
traditional time, distance and language barriers, facilitating communication and preventing lags in production.
- A greater number of people will telecommute to work. In fact, 87 percent of executives polled by OfficeTeam predict there will be increased telecommuting in the coming decade.
- While technology will make employees more flexible, it doesn't appear people will work fewer hours. Forty-two percent of executives surveyed by OfficeTeam said they believe employees will be working more hours in the next 10 to 15 years; only 9 percent anticipated working fewer hours. Likewise, 86 percent of respondents said employees will be expected to stay more connected with the office while on vacation.
- The concept of "emotional intelligence" will grow in prominence. This phrase refers to those skills and abilities that enable people to interact well with those around them, respond to others' needs and priorities, and adapt to a rapidly changing business environment.
- Key skills — The most important skills and abilities for administrative professionals can be summed up with the acronym ACTION. This stands for Analysis, Collaboration, Technical aptitude, Intuition, Ongoing education and Negotiation. Take our quiz to measure your ACTION skills.