Office design is constantly changing and evolving, and every office fit-out project that we work on will not only reflect the needs of the business and their staff but also the latest trends and office technology.

Thanks to easier Wi-Fi access in offices, the increasing use of wearable technology and the ‘internet of things’, the office of the future is getting closer day by day. Over the past few decades, we have seen a massive change in how we work and where we do it, not least through the evolution of the humble office desk, adapting and changing to reflect the many advancements in IT.

Last year, tech-giants Dell and Intel commissioned their second Global Evolving Workforce Study, exploring the broader effect that technology is having on businesses and the way they work.

This study of nearly 5,000 workers in 12 countries and 9 industries wanted to find out how, why and where people worked. We’ve looked at the global results, but there’s also a handy infographic about the UK stats.

They highlighted four key trends;

Trend 1: The Office is king, but it’s a jungle too

office king

Employees may conduct work in different locations, from the home to cafes and co-working environments, but the office is still the primary place of work.

97% of employees spend at least some of their time there, with the average amount of time per week being 29 hours.

Just over half of employees’ offices had open plan floor layouts and, despite the open plan debate still raging, 48% of staff didn’t believe that it had impacted on their productivity.

76% of office-based employees felt that they worked best at a desk.

1 in 5 employees wore headphones in the office and 48% said that they were frequently interrupted.

54% of employees preferred in-person meetings rather than online.

Trend 2: Office workers vs remote workers

Office workers

52% of people believe that those working from home are just as productive as those in the office, or even more so.

While many people who worked from home felt less stress it clearly had an impact on their fitness with 20% exercising less and 38% snacking more!

72% of employees saw working from home as an extra benefit and, while 31% believed that all employees will work from home in their lifetime, 69% saw the central office continuing to exist in the future.

Trend 3: The secret to happy employees? Technology

Office technology

One in four employees globally reported that they were influenced by the technology they worked with and would consider moving jobs if the technology in the new position helped them be more productive. And three-quarters of employees felt that technology had influenced the way they worked.

54% of companies globally are allowing BYOD (bring your own device). However, only 27% are securing these personal devices against viruses.

Trend 4: The future of workplace tech is bright, but not fully automated

Office Future

Employees generally believe that the future of technology will keep evolving and provide different benefits and capabilities to the workforce.

However, they don’t think that it will fundamentally change the way that people work.

Technology that could potentially be on the horizon included voice recognition instead of keyboards, tablets completely replacing laptops, computers using hand gestures and mice becoming obsolete.

Unfortunately, employees also thought that it was least likely for employees to arrive at the office in hologram form!

One thing is clear, office technology is going to be an important part of the office of the future, but the heart of any business will always be the people that work there. That’s why, even though the integration of technology into an office design is going to become more and more important, we still believe that every office should be designed with the individuals that work there in mind.

Images from Dell’s Global Evolving workforce study

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