Where – and how – will you work in 2025?

Nicola Mortimer
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On: 26 Oct 2018
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The 40-hour working week will be a tale we tell our grandchildren. Working environments are rapidly changing and the pace of change is not slowing down. Driven initially by mobility, it is now being accelerated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and developments in connectivity.

Which raises the question: where – and how – will you be working in 2025?

With the cloud and 4G making it possible to access data, tools and colleagues as easily from your home as your office, there’s nothing standing in the way of remote working. The pressure on employers to embrace remote working has been building since Millennials joined the workforce and is set to continue with Gen Z. Both generations manage their social lives from their smartphones and expect the same convenience and flexibility of their working lives. Issues such as rising rent costs and demand for office space change the conversation to one which is about employer benefits. It’s no wonder that in a study this year of 18,000 business professionals across 96 international companies, 70% work remotely at least once a week1.

Out of sight doesn’t have to mean out of mind when it comes to remote workers. When there is little or no face-to-face contact between colleagues, creating and maintaining a company culture and ethos has to be worked at. A collaborative and common working environment still needs to exist, even if only virtually through WhatsApp groups and Skype conferencing calls.

If you’re a business owner, shrinking demand for a physical working environment could help to reduce your overheads. The increasing availability of collaborative workspaces for ultra-short-term rental – for the duration of a meeting, for example – could even see a permanent end to the need for an expensive office building or company headquarters.

However it’s not only human employees driving change.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already all around us in our day-to-day lives and will gradually play a larger and larger role in making our working days easier and more efficient. One form of AI already taking on some customer care and sales tasks is the chatbot. In a previous blog, we spoke to Three customer Vhi on how they’re currently using chatbots – read it here.

Chatbots are currently effective for instant messaging with customers, including sorting through and providing relevant information. In future, they’re likely to handle email correspondence and even manage our calendars for us. This delegation of the more mundane and time-consuming elements of a job to AI will free our time to focus on the more creative aspects of our roles, which demand more than binary thinking.

If change of this extent seems more futuristic than could possibly happen by 2025, consider this: a photo taken on New York’s 5th Avenue in 1900 shows a road full of horse-drawn carriages with not a single car in sight. In 1908, the first Model T Ford rolled off the production line. In 1913, a mere five years later, another photo from 5th Avenue shows just two horses and carriages with a line of cars stretching into the distance. The equestrian age was effectively ended over a period of just five years. The end of the office age by 2025 could easily be on schedule.

  1. Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/30/70-percent-of-people-globally-work-remotely-at-least-once-a-week-iwg-study.html

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