Our idea of what constitutes a functioning and well-equipped office is changing dramatically and could even be thought of as entering a brave new world, participants of a wide ranging debate on the subject have recently suggested.
The British Council of Offices (BCO) recently brought together a group of leading experts on the subject and the conclusion of most was that the industry is entering entirely uncharted territory.
With the rise in popularity of managed offices, serviced offices and virtual offices in the UK and elsewhere, along with the increasing prevalence of integrated communication technologies, the traditionally-conceived rented office is becoming less and less the norm for businesses worldwide.
Nevertheless, strong evidence was put forward by the BCO’s panel that office space of different sorts remains very much in demand throughout the world and it was maintained that one of the primary challenges for developers is to make sure all the latest technology is readily available and easy to access.
Outlining some of the key points from its recent debate, the BCO said that “both sides agreed that the traditional definition of an office is no longer relevant and the whole concept of an office is changing”.
It was also noted that for many small to medium-sized businesses and start-up companies, a strong online presence will often take precedence over having a bricks-and-mortar area of office space to operate from.
Among those putting forward their views during the recent debate provocatively titled “Is The Office Dead?”, were the chair of the BCO’s research committee Mat Oakley and Ken Giannini from the architect firm Scott Brownrigg.
Facilitating discussion and debate within the office space sector in the UK is among the primary goals of the BCO, which was established 30 years ago and now has regional chapters in Wales, the Midlands, the north of England and in Scotland.