A BDO survey of Thames Valley business sentiment has looked at the changing face of the workplace and asked businesses how their working environments had changed over the past five years, and how they expected them to change in the next five.
In the latest Thames Valley Business Barometer, a third of respondents said their workplace had become more flexible with the introduction of hot-desking, co-working and remote working, while half of those surveyed reported that the use of technology had significantly increased and improved their working environment.
Half of those surveyed expected to see flexible and agile working practices continue to become more common as improvements in mobile and cloud enabled technologies allowed more people to work anywhere and at any time, while changing attitudes and expectations among employers and staff would encourage these changes to take place.
Simon Brooker, partner and head of BDO Thames Valley, commented: “Of course flexible and agile working will not be for everyone and some businesses do not easily lend themselves to this way of working. One third of those surveyed told us that their working environment had not changed in the last five years, although, interestingly only 12% expect there to be no change in the next five years.
“Flexible and agile working is a subject that is close to our own hearts as BDO has spent much time identifying what the office of the future might look like and what our needs will be.
“We are currently introducing our future office concept into all 18 of our offices across the UK and last October we moved our Thames Valley office into the newly rebuilt Thames Tower in the centre of Reading and took the chance to fully embrace the firm’s vision of the future. Our office space reflects the firm’s commitment to flexibility, collaboration and agile working, driven by the changing needs of our clients and staff and incorporates almost total hot-desking, using a new digital desk utilisation system; open-space communal areas; collaborative working zones; quiet spaces and wireless connectivity throughout.”