With businesses rapidly adapting to current IT challenges, and the cloud computing phenomenon taking hold, the new model is ‘mobile workplaces’ — essentially Starbucks and an iPad — the vision of the future. That means the culture of a communal office space may be becoming extinct. The now ubiquitous iPad’s and Smartphones mean that many are able to work on the run, where and when they want. Forrester, a research company in the US, claims that three quarters of companies in Europe and the US are already using Apple’s iPad’s for their businesses, perhaps leaving the notion of human interaction, board meetings and office cubicles a thing of the past.
The main problem with mobile offices is still one of security, and IT companies are playing catch-up with the ever-changing world of computer hardware. This is ostensibly where cloud computing will come to save the day, allowing for a more centralized and streamlined network approach. But what about employee productivity? Are bosses going to be content letting their workforce take it home? A BBC article on this mobile revolution raised a salient point about the how the new, long distance working methods may not play so well with the old guard — visions of employees working from home usually conjures images of that first can of beer being cracked open at 3pm, whilst the football match flickers on the TV in the background. Professor Kevin Rockman, from George Mason University, begs to differ, “when employees get more autonomy, they work harder, they are more grateful, they’ll stay connected and you can be even more productive.” Well, he is a professor after all, and surely this is good news for start-up companies not needing to spend money on a corporate office space when a coffee shop is sufficient should there actually be the need to, perish the thought, meet in the flesh.