IS THE OFFICE DEAD? That's what The INQUIRER has been discussing during day one of our week-long debate, as Accenture and SAS argue it out as to whether flexible working is the future.
Join the INQUIRER debate live today, Tuesday 18 June, for our Guest Phase, where Stuart Dommett, UK & Ireland business marketing manager at Intel, will be sharing his thoughts on whether the office is dead.
During day one, Emma McGuigan, managing director of technology at Accenture, said that due to advancements in technology and the fact that Accenture is a consulting and technology firm, the switch to flexible working was an easy one for her company, and that the benefits of virtual working are "multifold".
McGuigan said, "Not only does it reduce travel costs and environmental impacts, it also drives employee job satisfaction. Finding that elusive balance between our work and personal lives is now the mantra for employees across generations, and the option to work flexibly can help them achieve this."
Karen Chisman, head of corporate services at SAS, had a different view, arguing that despite technological advancements, businesses need a dedicated workplace, so that staff can interact with each other.
Chisman said, "As we move into the future of work it is critical that we align the design of our workplaces with our need to engage in multiple activities (including our basic human need to interact with each other) and consider the high degree of mobility required to do this."
At the end of day one, 32 percent of INQUIRER readers agreed with Chisman, while 68 percent voted in favour of McGuigan's arguement that the office is dead.
One reader, David Shaw, commented, "There is still a place for an office in most cases. It's the right kind of office that's important. An office that's designed with today's modern workers in mind and with technology in mind. It's not all or nothing office or home working, it's wherever is best in that moment in time.
"Enabling anywhere working is essential but so is having a base that enables collaboration and concentration when its needed."
Join the debate all week to let us know if you agree with the points made so far and cast your vote for offices or remote working. µ