Offices are nearly needless in today’s working environment as digital storage can be held and accessed from anywhere. Skype is now part of Facebook, virtually guaranteeing every employee can attend a meeting. Productivity, costs-analysis, day-to-day monitoring, and budget building can all be performed on a computer anywhere so long as it can link to a collective server.
That’s not to mention the fact that by the end of 2011 it’s estimated that 50 percent of the working population will either have an iPhone, Blackberry, Samsung or HTC Android phone, or some other model of smartphone. We will all be connected and capable of doing the majority of our jobs from home so long as the majority of our job entails answering emails, assembling documents, and inputting data into spreadsheets..
Critics question the reliance on cloud computing and tend to focus on the reasons why the traditional office still persists. Many claim that otherwise it’s impossible to control productivity. Others say it removes the team dynamic. But the biggest common sense reason why an office could still be considered important is that businesses, especially small businesses, need to have an environment to showcase themselves inside and a physical place to establish an authentic presence.
While as of 2011 it’s still important for many businesses to present themselves with an established office, the future of the office doesn’t look so bright. For one, the majority of consumers are deciding which service provider they do business with based not on who has the most spotless floor and nicest employees, but who looks the best according to websites and online reviews. Two, studies are showing that people not only prefer to work remotely, but that doing so actually increases their productivity. Three, further economic downgrading in the United States is going to create competition wherein those who spend on the costs of an office are at a disadvantage to those who skip the office altogether.
If you aren’t a fan of the office, count on it becoming an obsolete part of the work environment within the next decade or so. It’ll make those long days looking at the water cooler go by a little bit better. In the meantime, continue to encourage the utilization of remote-based means to run a business. Either you’ll possibly convince an employer to give in on a few measure, or get good ideas on how to start your own office-less business.