The increasing technological requirement of space, its corresponding scarcity, coupled to the need for flexibility will continue to set the tone for workplaces.
Technologies and new methods of work influence office architectural design and facilities management in two apparently contradictory ways, the increasing technological requirement of the space and the potential physical reduction of it. Work is becoming more technology and less labour-intensive. Offices need to improve their ability to accommodate technology whilst reducing the number of their employees. Smaller sites and better locations can be chosen, with a corresponding impact on urban living.
This is already changing the balance between city centre and peripheral areas, and between historical cores and new development areas. Housing is returning to the city centre, corporations are moving to the peripheries and this means that eventually labour and capital are geographically converging in a sustainable way.The rearranging of what may be called traditional housing and corporate locations has a strong impact on the real estate and labour markets, by changing the supply and demand for both space and labour.
These trends apply equally to traditional and non traditional companies, with quality and flexibility being keywords. Labour is changing and technology requires improved skills. Improved skills are accompanied by higher qualifications and quality of life expectations.
Published in the hard-copy of Work Style Magazine, Spring 2009