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Traditional office becoming a thing of the past

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New research has revealed that the traditional office may be fast becoming a thing of the past thanks to the development of remote technology.

The findings, which were commissioned by Polycom, showed that the utilisation of video conferencing technology has helped to lead to the ‘virtual office‘ whereby many employees are working remotely.

Its survey reveals that the increase in technology adoption by organisations over the last decade has heightened UK office workers’ expectations of how work should fit into their lifestyles.

Over the last decade, the number of home workers has doubled from 21 per cent to 40 per cent, and the number of employers offering flexible working arrangements for parents has increased from 28 per cent to 44 per cent, according to the research.

Despite these positive changes, a quarter of UK office workers would prefer their working hours to better fit around their lifestyle, with the main reasons being to better align with their partners and children, or to avoid commuting. Increased technology adoption by organisations is helping to drive this new trend.

The adoption of video conferencing has increased significantly, with 26 per cent of firms using it ten years ago and 42 per cent doing so now. Interestingly, more men than women use technology in the work context – something that hasn’t changed over the last ten years.

The trend of flexible working is growing rapidly though, due mostly to new technologies being adopted by firms such as cloud and videoconferencing solutions. Face-to-face meetings and telephone calls are showing a steady decline as employees change the way they communicate and collaborate.

Polycom EMEA president Gary Rider said that despite the fact that home working was growing in popularity, some firms still needed to adapt to this change in working culture.

He added: “Businesses have changed significantly over the past ten years thanks to technological innovation, but our survey findings show that the majority of employers still don’t provide their staff with enough flexibility.”