The future of Work

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YouReOn“We just don’t need offices like we used to,” Regus founder and CEO Mark Dixon told me. “It’s an imposition on

employees to ask them to drive for fifty miles to an office to use a computer and a phone. They have those where they are.”

As the chief executive of the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces – as well as the largest real estate holder on earth – Dixon has a well-founded opinion on where this new world of work is taking us, what the future of “the office” holds, and what we as businesspeople should be thinking about if we’re to stay on top of this rapidly evolving socio-economic phenomenon.

But look closer at his statement and a few insights pop out to the careful reader. Since when did the word “imposition” look at home in this sort of discussion? Didn’t we just expect “workers” to show up where our offices were, work during “work hours,” and essentially live their work lives as corporate soldiers? Has something changed?

In a word, yes.

Work life is changing. It’s changing in very substantial ways, too. And the sooner we acknowledge that these changes are happening, the faster we can adapt our own responses to them and ride these waves the way we want to, maximizing the opportunity for ourselves, our companies and our shareholders. In interviews with three business leaders with well-defined opinions on the subject – Regus founder and CEO Mark Dixon, VP of Clients and Mobility Laurent Philonenko of Cisco and Jabra US President Peter Fox – we’ve identified three megatrends that are shaping the workplace today, which gives us fair warning of what is ahead. These trends are more than just shifts in technology or current consumer sentiment – they are sweeping changes, brought about by interrelated and complex forces and they will shape the way we work for the foreseeable future.

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