Does Cloud Computing Mean The End Of The Traditional Office?

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

For decades the traditional office setup hasn’t changed that much but in the last couple of years, we’ve seen companies starting to challenge that. The idea of the 8 hour days is starting to go out of the window and recently there has been talk of the benefits of a 4 day week, something that a lot of European countries are already using, and it’s been proven to work. By far one of the biggest driving forces behind this change is cloud computing. By allowing employees to work from outside the office, it’s raised the question of whether we still need a physical office at all. While most businesses are still using one right now, the alternatives are on the rise. Does that mean cloud computing is going to make the physical office completely obsolete?

Increased Functionality

One of the things that is keeping the physical office alive at the moment is the fact that employees can’t always do everything they need to do remotely and there are still things that they need to be in the office for. The thing is, cloud technology is still a relatively new thing and as functionality increases, those tasks will be able to be done remotely. For example, is a system for collecting, storing and exchanging information that can cover most of the functions of a basic office. As more companies start to develop this kind of software, it will become easier and easier for employees to do everything from the comfort of their own home.

The Death Of Regular Hours

The 9 to 5 day has been the standard in most industries for years, but research shows that it doesn’t actually work. For starters, people that work fewer hours tend to be more productive because they’re spending less time doing better quality work, rather than spending all day working at half speed. Having more rest time is also proven to make you more productive, hence the success of the 4 day week. To that end, more companies are introducing flexible working hours whereby employees just have to work a certain number of hours each week, it’s up to them when they do it as long as everything gets done. This is so much better because different people work effectively at different times of day. See for a great article on the death of the 9 to 5 working day.

Social Considerations

The one thing that might save the traditional office model is the social interactions that you have at work. It’s not healthy for people to stay at home and remain isolated and if you’re working remotely, that’s more likely. It would mean that people have more time to spend with friends from outside of work but it also stops you from forming a bond with colleagues. People tend to work more effectively together when they’ve got a good relationship. Having said that, our social interactions are increasingly being moved into the online world and so in a few generations, a lack of face to face contact might not be a problem.

Only time will tell whether the traditional office model will survive a rapidly changing business world.

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