Officeless

In this same way that e-commerce has formed a new channel through which to deliver retail, recent leaps in communications technologies have created new channels of delivering work. Almost all of us now work remotely from our office from time-to-time whether that is in coffee shops or on the train to work. Working from home occasionally is now normal; and for some people (~1.5m in the UK) working from home full-time is the norm. However, it seems that some entire businesses are choosing to deliver their operations without a single office. A report by the BBC last week focussed on Automattic, a company where all 930 employees work remotely. The software development business provides a stipend to its employees to cover incidentals such as office supplies, Wi-Fi rental, touch down space costs and coffees, in lieu of a desk. Every year they will fly their employees to conferences to meet up; all of this still providing a positive cost differential to permanent offices. And they’re not alone. Several businesses (mainly in the tech space) are choosing to go officeless. Whilst remote communication is already in the culture of these type of businesses, and a lack of regulation creates freedom of choice, these can both be overcome with more secure and enriching communications tech. With small office spaces popping up in former retail units, bars and public venues, could we be seeing the dawn of a new decentralised work model?