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Stuart Dommett

Business IT Evangelist and UK & Ireland Business Marketing Manager, Intel Sales & Marketing Group

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There will always be a debate on the future of the office: Do you need to be in the office to be productive? How do I trust people to be working when they are not in the office? Mobile is expensive!

With the impact of consumerisation, the availability of broadband and apps in our private lives has brought us closer together. In the press we hear about how the younger generation have lost the ability to interact and engage with others. We need to consider how to embrace new technologies and ways of interacting with colleagues and friends by integrating and benefiting our day to day engagement with others. The plethora of tools and applications are forming and being formed around the way we expect to work together and how this makes us personally more productive.

At the leading edge of the innovation has been the design of the latest devices, putting the user first whether in the design of devices, how we interact with them, and how we utilise multiple screens and devices to work and engage. This change is driving our behaviours and also our desire to use intuitive tools and find our own path to modern productivity.

It is not whether a physical office exists but more about how it will be used in the future, how it enables employees, teams and organisations to be as productive as possible. As we move forward the most important consideration for all companies is to understand the benefits of both physical and virtual working - how this maps to the culture of their business and then maximising using the latest tools to enable the best working practices. Whether we are in the same building, cross campus or spread across different countries, collaboration and productive working is what will give the organisation the best competitive advantage.

With all the tools that are available, the responsibility of the IT organisation moving forward is to drive efficiencies in our employees; part of this will be the offices. There are significant real estate benefits to be realised from approaching the work space differently and also benefits for employees in how they utilise this space. In some respects employees find their own way to be productive, so the work space should allow that to happen naturally. Designing offices around mobile landing zones and flexible workspaces allows for visitors or remote workers to work on site in an effective manner.

Utilising the latest in collaboration tools, video and document sharing, remote workers can and should be integrated with the work and culture of the organisation. Today is a time of collaboration and working together, a great time to realise the benefits and advantages of multiple models.

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