The wider proliferation of mobile technology solutions is helping to reduce the need for office space, it has been suggested.
Writing for USA Today, Haya El Nasser claimed that concepts of the office are changing as employees gain access to high powered laptops, smartphones and media tablets.
“Technology, the urge to go green, telecommuting and a generation of workers who grew up with smartphones in their hands and computers in their laps are revamping the work culture,” she stated.
“Companies are knocking down walls, even dismantling cubicles to create a free-flowing layout that many believe gets the creative juices flowing and encourages collaboration.”
Ms El Nasser said employees are less concerned about having their own dedicated workspace, and are happy to use hot desking and remote working.
When in the office, they are content to utilise communal workspaces, using Wi-Fi to log on to the internet wherever they are positioned.
“Their cherished family photos adorn not their cubicles but their computers’ wallpapers. They’re kept on smartphones and posted on Facebook, not pinned to a bulletin board at desks,” the writer explained.
“At the same time, office equipment from printers and copiers to computers is shrinking. The paper trail is also waning, making big file cabinets obsolete in many work areas.”
Ms El Nasser explained that the rise of collaborative working is helping employers to reduce overheads.
She said that open floor plans accommodate more workers in less space, enabling them to make savings on commercial property rents.
In the past, taking on a team of new employees may have involved moving to larger premises, but this is no longer the case.
“Offices traditionally use 200 to 300 square feet per worker – an average of everything from clerks’ cubicles to executive suites,” Ms El Nasser noted.
“By encouraging staff to work from home, getting rid of offices, even resorting to [hot desking] some companies are slashing average square footage per worker to less than 100, about the size of a one-car garage.”