The working world is constantly changing, and a lot can happen in 5 years. Rising trends influence everything about the way we work, from the things we do, to the processes we use and the spaces we work in. Here are our top 3 predictions for how offices will change by 2023:

1. Agile working becomes even more flexible. Co-working spaces are increasingly prevalent

Over the last few years, flexible or ‘agile’ working has seen a massive increase in popularity. CV Library ranks flexible hours as the most desirable employee perk, winning 47% of survey votes. As workers choose more non-core hours and want to work from home, the number of people working in a traditional ‘office’ set-up will decline. Co-working spaces, where typically smaller businesses or entrepreneurs pay to utilise shared office space, will become more and more popular as fewer workers require permanent desks.

Are you prepared for flexible working? An agile workforce needs to be able to access their files from home or a satellite location (more on cloud-based tech later), at hours that suit them, without being tied to reams of paper (again, more on paperless offices later).

2. Rise of the cloud-based, centralised tech. Data protection is key

You may be surprised to hear that, just a few years ago, experts dismissed cloud computing as just another fad. Now, it has majorly changed the face of IT and how businesses operate across the world. The popularity of mobile devices (and the aforementioned mobile workforce) is partly behind the rise in cloud-based technologies. As is the need for collaboration: cloud-based products allow for simpler communication between employees, and more streamlined processes.

Data protection will also continue to be significant, as consumers grow more aware of their rights and the laws surrounding GDPR become more embedded into our working lives. People have been sceptical about how the cloud will influence data protection and security, but a RapidScale study claims that 94% of businesses saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud, and 91% said the cloud made it easier to be compliant with regulations.

Are you prepared for a move into the cloud? Cloud-based products save time; facilitate better communication; give you more control; increase your security; and meet the demands of a flexible workforce. You may want to consider mobilising to a cloud-based CRM, office suite such as Office365, and a cloud-based document management system.

3. People care about the planet. ‘Paperless’ makes a come-back

As a society, we’re continuously becoming more aware of our impact on the environment. Consumer demand is pressuring businesses to be more eco-friendly: GreenBiz reports a 25% growth in companies touting environmental benefits in the past 2 years, and 40% of businesses say they’ve taken action to improve the eco-friendliness of what they offer. This means reducing the amount of plastics we use and waste-to-landfill we produce, and a resurgence in the ‘paperless office’ concept we’ve been hearing about for years.

While a truly paperless office may still be many years away, we’ll see strong attempts from businesses trying to significantly reduce their paper consumption. This means printing less unnecessary documents; not duplicating already-printed files; and moving towards a digital document management system rather than traditional physical folders.

Are you prepared to reduce your reliance on paper? To prove environmental credentials which will become more important to your consumers, you’ll want processes in place to reduce how much you print, copy and store. Plus, not storing hundreds of physical files will save on space too – helping you to better utilise the room you have, or even move towards using co-working spaces.

Have any of our predictions left you feeling a little unprepared? One simple solution can help tackle all 3 of these future-proofing areas: Papercloud, the cloud-based document management system. It’s a system built with your business’ future in mind – designed to meet the needs of any organisation with a reliance on paper files that wants to improve flexibility, save admin time and money, and reduce paper consumption.

Click here to find out more or book a free 15 minute Papercloud demo. It’s a simple demonstration that will help you instantly decide whether the system is right for your business. Alternatively, contact our experts on 01274 535090 or info@watermarktech.co.uk to find out how we could help.

 

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