Exec: More efficient workplace a growing need

Reuel John F. Lumawag

AS THE workplace continues to evolve, firms are expected to have a growing need of a more efficient workplace that will allow them to better cater to the demands of their clients at the same time meet the needs of their employees.

"In the coming years we can expect firms consolidating their offices for more efficient use, greater staff density, satellite offices and agile working increasing. There will also be a growing need for collaborative spaces," said Lars Wittig, Country Manager, Regus Philippines.

For the work environment, Wittig said distributing teams across multiple cities, countries, and conditions is becoming the norm and the mix of contract and temporary staff versus full-time employees is also growing.

"All of this impacts the how workspace may be designed and used in the future. In many cases daily use of a traditional office is not required. Employees may need to simply drop in for key meetings, have access to remote locations and a network of business environments around the world when and where they require," he said.

Wittig also said that as the demand for office spaces grow and at the same time the prices of real estate are going up, office space will need to be used more efficiently to manage costs effectively.

"For most companies, this means empowering staff with flexible working solutions, as well as fewer offices in expensive city centers," he said.

Wittig also said that as real estate is often less expensive in areas outside Metro Manila, firms can invest in small satellite offices where people can drop in as required.

"Increased workplace density and better technology will mean that employees are no longer expected to be tied to one desk and, as a result, agile working will become more commonplace. Business professionals will be given the option to work remotely (either from home or based within a client’s office)," he said, adding that hot desking will also become a regular occurrence.

Wittig said the rise in agile working will increase the need for collaborative workspaces.

"As more professionals work remotely, the need for face-to-face meetings will be greater," he said.

"If I were to sum this all up, I’d say the key themes of the office of the future are efficiency, flexibility and creativity. To meet the demands of the future, workforce management will need to think outside the box in terms of real estate investment," Wittig said.