A survey by Ricoh Europe has found that 42% of Irish office workers believe a physical office will be unnecessary in the next five to ten years as a result of technological advancements. Furthermore, 57% of workers say they will be able to effectively work from any location.
Forty-two per cent of Irish office workers believe that a physical office will be unnecessary in the next five to ten years, according to new research from Ricoh. In fact, the study found that 57% of respondents believe they will soon be able to work effectively from any location. The research, commissioned by Ricoh Europe and conducted by Coleman Parkes, involved 4,580 office workers from across 24 countries, including 150 from Ireland.
The survey also examined how younger generations are shaping the future workplace. When asked about the impact of Gen Z and their expectation of more flexible hours, a third (33%) of those surveyed in Ireland revealed that they think the typical 9-5 working day will cease to exist.
In terms of preferred workstyles, it appears agility is high on most people’s agenda with more than half (51%) of Irish workers revealing they would be attracted by the flexibility of a gig economy role*. Gen X were most drawn to this workstyle (59%), followed by Gen Z (52%), Baby boomers (50%) and Gen Y (41%).
However, despite the demand for more versatility, two in five (40%) Irish office workers cited a lack of flexibility as one of their top three workplace frustrations.
Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh Ireland & UK, said: “It’s quite clear from our findings that Irish office workers see the concept of the traditional workplace as a thing of the past. Employees no longer want to sit at a desk for eight hours a day. Instead, people want to use their time wisely and work smarter, wherever they are.
“Furthermore, the youngest generations in the workforce have grown up with technology and want more fluidity in their roles. The workplace needs to adapt to this and accommodate everyone. Before getting to that stage, however, business leaders need to identify and understand the priorities of their people.
“As our research shows, a lack of flexibility remains one of the top frustrations for Irish office workers, yet versatility is seen as a defining element of the “office of the future” – it’s clear that there is a gap here and perhaps organisations aren’t doing enough to enable new and individual workstyles.
“In a world where technology can connect people from across the world in an instant and allow them to complete tasks much more quickly, there is no excuse for not empowering employees to work in a way that suits them. Moreover, businesses will see the benefits of this in terms of attracting talent, increasing job satisfaction, boosting productivity and supporting company growth.”