Today I attended The Modern Office event at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. The event was attended by over 100 CEOs and MDs from London’s SME business scene, and was a chance for them to see the latest Cloud gadgets and understand how they can use them to improve the way they work.
Microsoft’s Small and Medium Business Channel Development Manager, Chris Rothwell gave an enthusiastic talk about the four big mega trends of the moment; Cloud, Mobility, Social and Big Data.
One thing he said really struck a chord with me. He asked how many of the audience work in open plan offices. Most of the room raised their hands.
‘And how many of you see half of your employees sitting there with headphones on, blocking out the rest of the office from their day to day work?’
Very true. I’ve worked in advertising agencies where half the staff have sat with headphones on all day – almost defeating the point of coming into a shared environment!
Now that I spend most of my time at home, I really make the most of being in shared environments like at events and conferences, and hot desking in offices as I appreciate the interaction. When I’m at home, I can concentrate on engaging with people through the likes of social media and having my meetings through Skype.
Some of the technology we saw being demonstrated today included Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint and Lync. All of these tools offer solutions for the flexible worker who is constantly on the move. Sharing presentations remotely, having instant group calls where all employees use different devices, easily seeing who has amended a version of a document…
It led me to wonder whether the Modern Office is actually an office at all – are we all just going to be working from wherever we choose, in the Cloud?