The Changing Landscape of WorkSpaces

By Aparna RoyThe advent of automation, smart technologies, and digital revolution has enabled people to work from anywhere and at any time. Beyond the traditional workplaces, people are increasingly working from remote locations. In 2012 the term ‘no-collar workers’ were designated to Millenials who preferred to work from remote places beyond the confines of the office. Eventually, the term Gig economy was designated to such remote workers. This trend in the past five to six years' time have picked up rapid growth and traditional workplaces, inspired by the Victorian bygone era are diminishing slowly and steadily.

There are a multitude of reasons as to why people prefer to work as freelancers. Rapid advancement in digital technology that facilitates the free flow of information, the ability or choice a freelancer has as to when and where they want to work are some of the main reasons for the shift in workspaces. Work-related messages and information can be transferred with just a click of the button via the internet. This new connectedness has eroded the boundaries that once defined our lives. In this new paradigm shift work is conducted in coffee shops, at home, co-working spaces as well as outside provided the person doing the work has wireless internet connectivity.

The emergence of co-working workspaces has given undeniable benefits through creating office spaces that are immediately ready for occupancy and that can be

downsized or enlarged depending on the needs. Co-working spaces are business models wherein many organizations and companies come together and work at a common setup. This is a very innovative cost-effective solution as companies are not only sharing a common workplace to work but one must realize that workplaces have their fair share of equipment and devices. On top of that, any new inventory that needs to be bought is also shared among the various companies sharing a common workplace.

However, the rise of the Gig economy and co-working spaces represent only one aspect of the changing workspace landscape. With the rapid development of Automation, machine learning, and AI-driven software, more than half of the jobs will be automated by the year 2030. Businesses have already started to utilize automated bots to carry out their tasks as an AI doesn’t have emotions and requires a one-time investment neither do the companies need to think about ditching out salary except for the core team members in a company. Jobs pertaining to almost all the manufacturing sectors, KPO jobs, and even primary to senior-level schooling will be automated in the near future.

As machines get integrated into the workspace, the need has arisen to redesign the skills of the workforces in order to cope with the changing times. The new paradigm requires humans and machines to develop a symbiotic relationship with each other. Abilities such as complex problem solving, critical thinking, empathy, active listening, and creativity will be needed in the future as the technical aspects are increasingly being covered by machines. It is the need of the hour for businesses and organizations to adapt to the paradigm shift in the workspace landscape. In a survey conducted by Deloitte’s Global, Human Capital Trends report more than 10,000 HR and business leaders were asked about the potential impact of automation on the future of work. Only 20 percent of the respondents said that they would reduce the number of jobs in their company whereas about 77 percent of them told that they would either re-train people or use new technology to re-design their jobs to take better advantage of the human resources.

It’s not just about the technology; it’s about the people as well. Of course, AI is developing rapidly, giving us dashboards and software to maintain and analyze. These software and management dashboards will be flooded by the generation Z in the coming years and will be flooding the co-working spaces, freelancing sites and also office workplaces.