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September 26, 2012

The One-Person Workplace: Office Space Projected to Shrink Big Time

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

If you’re working in an office, take a minute to look around. Count the desks and devices you can see; how many of each per person do you see? Get ready to kiss those numbers goodbye, as a new study by Citrix found an emerging trend that will reduce office space by 17 percent in eight years.

According to Citrix, the future workplace will provide seven desks for every 10 office workers. On the bright side, each person will have around six different devices they can access the corporate IT network from. Maybe that’s not the bright side if you prefer everything to be simplified in one device, but at least one won’t have to worry about losing everything when they lose one device.

However, this isn’t intended to make the offices more like crowded sweatshops – just the opposite, in fact. The redesign is intended to be more appealing and inspiring, helping workers collaborate by working from anywhere, anytime, and any device they so feel like.

Work will expand beyond the office, making the office space less crowded.

According to a poll from Citrix, nearly 30 percent of people working from an office will instead work from various locations, such as field and project sites, partner premises, or even their own homes. They’ll be able to do this by working from any device, as they can all access.

These “mobile workstyles” will allow for employees to remain just as connected and productive outside of the office as they are in it.

“Organizations are encouraging people to operate outside of the traditional workplace on their own personal devices to improve the bottom line – by making the organization more responsive, improving productivity and reducing the cost of real estate and device management,” said Mich Hollison, VP of integrated marketing and strategy at Citrix. “At the same time, organizations are investing in the space they have to create enticing workplaces that foster collaboration, innovation and creativity. The result is a stronger organization, with high caliber people performing at their best.”

“The technology to enable the workplace of the future is already available and proven,” he added, “and plans for workplace redesign can easily be put in place. The real winners will be those that get the people management and culture right, to empower the workforce of the future.”

While the thought of a smaller workspace may not be appealing, the idea of the world being your workspace sounds a good deal better. There will be fewer desks because there will be less of a need for them, although admittedly there is a certain feeling of productivity one gets from sitting at a desk with the computer in front of them.

Still, businesses and employees are moving to a more mobile workstyle, so you can say goodbye to the cubicle and hello to the comfort of your own home.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Austin 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Braden Becker
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