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July 8, 2011

Death of the office?

Half of UK workers reckon it'll be gone by 2021

By Cbr Rolling Blog

A new survey from Virgin Media Business has claimed that over half the UK workforce believes companies will not need office space by 2021, as mobile and remote working technologies take over.

The survey of 1,000 workers was launched to coincide with the 10th anniversary of TV series The Office, which first aired in the UK on 9 July 2001. It found that 58% of workers reckon that businesses will not require office space beyond 2021.

The study looked at how the workplace has changed in the 10 years since Ricky Gervais’ David Brent character first appeared on our screens. It found that the emergence of technologies such as smartphones and, more recently, tablets, have meant that 83% of workers feel more productive than they did 10 years ago, particularly when it comes to working away from the office.

These technologies have helped people strike a healthier work/life balance over the last 10 years, with 32% claiming to be happier at work than they were a decade ago.

Looking forward 56% of respondents claimed that the aforementioned mobile technologies and cloud computing will result in the total merging of business and consumer technologies, while 63% think just one device will be needed for work and play.

Over half (56%) expect to see a marked reduction in the amount of travelling needed for work over the next decade.

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"Just like the dinosaurs, the office may soon be resigned to the history books, with six in ten workers predicting that they won’t exist by 2021. This is a trend that we’re already starting to see across the UK, with mobile working tripling in the last year alone," said Mark Heraghty, managing director, Virgin Media Business.

"As employers search for more agile and effective ways of running their businesses," he added, "we’re increasingly finding that firms are swapping expensive office spaces in favour of a virtual workplace, where all activities can be conducted remotely."

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