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Why the Future Workspace Isn't a Place

The knowledge worker and frontline employee experience must adapt to support evolving work models. That includes a digital workspace solution, and perhaps a reimagined physical workplace.

Workflow that is performed online will be augmented and optimized. Moreover, the format and design of enterprise office spaces are likely to be significantly transformed. It's inevitable.

Traditional leaders who expected a return-to-normal environment have been greatly disappointed by the abandonment of inflexible workplaces. In contrast, many employees welcome the change. 

Future Workspace Market Development

Around 25 percent of organizations in the Asia-Pacific region are already redesigning their offices, and 70 percent will do so in an 18-month period, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Why invest now -- given the current economic outlook? Organizations are redesigning their offices to bring employees back onsite and, at the same time, attempt to improve their operational efficiency.

However, recent research findings indicate that disruption to operations is the main challenge for Asia-Pacific organizations in redesigning the workplace. It's by no means the only issue.

Without a clear plan of action and tangible ROI, office redesign projects could fail to deliver expected outcomes. The savvy leaders will ensure office redesigns improve employee experience and enhance productivity.

"However, they are averse to any disruptions to their business operations even if these will improve productivity," says Dr. Lily Phan, research director at IDC.

Some organizations are prioritizing and are willing to invest between 11 to 30 percent of their budget in office redesign. They will transform the office to enhance both team collaboration and focused work by 2024.

IDC analysts believe that smart office management software and new IT infrastructure are also focused investments for Asia-Pacific leaders and their organizations.

Combined together, improving employee experience, enhancing operational efficiency, accommodating hybrid work, developing the company culture, and saving costs are all major drivers for organizations to redesign their offices.

According to the IDC assessment, hybrid workforce adoption is no longer debated. About 60 percent of employees prefer to work remotely, so any office redesign must offer a superior employee experience.

"Many organizations are redesigning their offices, thereby improving employees' in-office experience and increasing collaboration and productivity," adds Dr. Phan.

Outlook for Future Workspace Applications Growth

That said, these trends are global in nature because forward-looking leaders everywhere have many of the same objectives in mind.

Regardless, I believe there is compelling evidence that the future workspace isn't a place. The easily adaptable digital workspace will prevail. Real estate budget cuts will cover the cost.

Online Employee Experience innovation will continue to evolve. Solution simplification and access security will be essential. Device and software usability enhancements must reduce workflow friction. Embedded intelligence and automation will augment human skills and intellect within the workspace.

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