How the Office has Evolved from the Past

Business is a constantly evolving phenomenon, and those that do not move ahead with the changing times will be left behind as customers choose more efficient services. Gone are the days of pen, paper, and calculators, as common practices are becoming much more automated.

Group Functionality

The way businesses are structured now frequently resembles the grouping of functions of their business instead of geographical branches. Not long ago, a retailer would have an administration service, front-of-house staff, and stock control together in each individual branch. Now, more companies are pulling together staff of similar roles into separate spaces.

Large companies such as Amazon provide a notable example of this. Stock checks and packaging is dealt with in warehouses around the world by one grouping, while customer services are dealt with by another group and business administration by another. The junior staff in these groups are unlikely to encounter anyone from a different group function, and this is led by senior staff.

This method promotes efficiency and allows processes to be followed more regimentally instead of tailoring each issue on a case-by-case basis and slowing the resolution.

Automation

As well as the business model typically changing, the processes carried out have also developed hugely as technology has improved. Once upon a time, an administration or accounting team would spend hours checking through individual receipts, and staff would need to manually clock in and out of their shifts. This is rarely the case now. Accounting platforms provide a faster and more accurate way to carry out payroll reports, sales, and expense reports, not to mention will flag up any potential trends.

The continuing reliance on technology is saving costs for businesses in not only reducing mistakes but also allowing for less human interaction. This has become a huge driver in job cuts in roles that now can be easily delivered by a platform, or AI presence, especially in the customer service industry and business administration. It previously could have taken days for an administrator to write to customers about a new promotion, but through email platforms now available, it can be done in minutes.

Flexibility

Flexibility within the office environment has been hugely in demand over the past few years of the pandemic. It is now more important than ever for companies to show that they can provide flexible hours, locations, and benefit offerings. Gone are the days when the ‘Monday to Friday, 9 to 5′ routine of being chained to the desk is enough for employees. Employers need to create an environment that fits in balance with the life of their staff and offers good health and wellbeing.

Office Culture

This channels into what is now expected in office culture. As well as maximum flexibility, companies are creating an environment that offers home comforts and makes the workplace more enjoyable. This could be through schemes where employees can bring their pets to their workplace or take breaks in a games room or napping space! Employees are now being encouraged to start side projects to make work more fun, and more offices are becoming casual in dress code, behavior, and allowing free time. Also, hiring a commercial cleaner will assure the office is clean and disinfected regularly. A safe and clean work environment goes a long way towards feeling good and productive in the space.

What’s next?

Offices will likely continue to become more remote and faceless to the point where there may no longer be offices. It could be that spaces for occasional face-to-face meetings are used irregularly on a ‘hire as needed’ basis.

Read also: We’re Starting to See Smart Homes… What About Smart Offices?

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