ARE OFFICES STILL RELEVANT FOR WORK?
by Skybearers Intl
May 21, 2018
An office is a location/ Place, a building or portions of buildings where companies conduct their businesses, meet with clients and use as a place of reference to prospective clients in need of their goods or services. Work, on the other hand, is applied effort invested to accomplish certain tasks or produce definite results. Oftentimes than not, work is done in offices and over the years this “office” has evolved, from large, whole buildings to warehouses and even very small spaces, just anything large enough to house a minimum staff strength of 5 could serve as an office now. Offices are of different kinds, but they are majorly tailored to the kind of businesses conducted within them. Examples are Accounting houses and banks for Financial, Accounting work, consulting houses for consulting and counseling work etc. Their outlook and interior also, get to suit the nature and ambiance of the work done within.
Irrespective of what kind of business it is, there is an office for every kind. These businesses range from management to administrative, marketing, sales, consultative, legal, just name it. Whatever business it is, there is always a structured building fit for it to operate. The cost for office space, power, machinery, office supply and consumables, sanitation, gas, water and even payment for staff logistics and wages, though high and constantly appreciative, oftentimes discourage startups from kicking off the ground.
Even though an office is expensive to set up and maintain, having an office is no guarantee for productive work. Work, being applied effort aimed at producing a certain result, is fully independent of where it is been executed, (despite that certain environment can foster certain kind of work). Several factors are now considered before setting-up any office for work and these include; the cost of office set-up, Staff strength, work tools, work environment and above all, profitability. Results and profit being very crucial, it does not really matter where this work is being executed. This brings us to the evolution of the office space, which has seen the office into more flexible options, with the introduction of improved telecommunication, more advanced technology, the internet and computers at large. Research shows that with time, the structural office space will be phased out totally, (See graph below).
Reasons for the office workspace decline
Major reasons for this trend include and are not limited to:
- office set-up cost,
- reliable Workforce availability
- Good work environment availability,
- Expensive office supply and consumables
- Unguaranteed productivity and efficiency
- the irregular timing for delivery
- The static location of the office
Newer office workspace options
Innovative work patterns that are taking over the traditional office spaces show a lot of prospects and are gaining ground amidst the entrepreneurial and business class. These include, and are not limited to:
- The co-worker systems
- The Virtual Assistant
to mention a few.
The Coworker system:
This system of the workplace is a business services model that provides a work environment for individuals all working independently or collaboratively in that shared space. It is a way for professionals to surround themselves with like-minded, high achieving, goal-oriented business people, and entrepreneurs. This feature totally eradicates the enormous amount expected to be raised to start up as the space owner provides everything necessary within the work environment; amenities, work tools etc, at very affordable and cheap price.
The Virtual Assistant:
This system is the new face of the office. It refers to self-employed individuals who provide professional creative, administrative, social or technical support to their clients remotely from a home office. These Virtual assistants are independent contractors and not employees and provide their clients with 100% creative work (results) for which these clients pay. The Client, in this case, would have no business with logistical problems involving getting an extra office space, or employee-related taxes, or office supplies and equipment. These virtual assistants never even get to see their clients as the modes of data delivery and communication is the internet or conference phone calls.
With the advent of Artificial intelligence, the future of office workspace becomes bleaker. Business owners, corporations, and establishments are looking for ways to incorporate artificial intelligence into their businesses for more efficient products and to gain a competitive edge over others.
Effects of this new trend.
The most adverse effect is usually on the dependent sector of the economy;
- The workforce: These are the people who run the day to day office activities, not necessarily producing the expected results, at the expected timelines, but the cost of maintaining them remains constant and even appreciates. These are the most affected in the office-workspace decline.
- Real-Estate: This sector mops in a sizeable amount to the cumulative revenue of any economy. With this trend, structural offices will no longer be needed as people will rather have to work in their homes and seek remote support for the actual purpose they need it.
- New sector development: With the interest of independent contractors on the rise, more individuals will go from job seekers to become trained as independent Virtual office assistants. This, in turn, means a new sector is being developed that would cater for the unemployed. This is a good thing.
It is one thing to own or start a business and it is another thing to fulfill the dream of setting up the business. Technology has made it easy for the world to be accessed on the go, with just the push of a button on a Mobile tablet device, or even on a mobile phone. This development would definitely mean that there are no restrictions or limitations on what one could achieve, in terms of expansion and growth. Now whereas, the traditional office is just one single structure localized in a particular environment at every point in time, work being dynamic, still goes on irrespective of the worker’s location. So smart businesses people, who have now become more result oriented than office-space oriented, would rather pay an independent contractor for the exact, timely and efficient results they want at any time and from anywhere, than have people situated in one location, occupying space at an extra cost to them.