2010 - The Year of Flexible Working
The new decade has started with a lot of discussion
about and enthusiasm for flexible working -
stimulated by snow, public pronouncements and by
companies reacting to the current economic climate.
But beyond the talk, what is going
to happen? These are our predictions for the
coming year - and then for the coming decade:
- The trend to office consolidation continues.
More employers send their staff home to increase
efficiency - and save on office costs
happening - but more on squeezing space than
sending staff home
- There will be the start of a big
property-reduction programme in the public
sector - whoever wins the election
and lots more to come in 2011
- There'll be a significant increase in new
home-based businesses and free-lancing, which
will continue beyond the recession
happening (see article, and we wait for full
- Desktop videoconferencing will become
commonplace (we've made this prediction every
year since 1997... but this time it will be
- After the 2010 election the Prime Minister will
be a home-based worker. His next-door
neighbour will be too
|True on both
From now until 2020
- Another homeworker, the President of the
USA, will have a difficult year. Or two.
There'll be at least one new president this
decade. She'll be a homeworker too.
- Towards the middle of the decade, computers
you can talk to - and significantly, who can
spell what you're saying - will start finding
their way into offices, engendering a move away
from open-plan and back to cellular offices
- Most desktop videoconferencing kit in
offices will fall into disuse by 2015.
People will wonder why they ever wanted to look
at each other when they're talking on the phone.
- The first webcam-enabled sexual harassment
offence involving a homeworking boss will come
before a court
- Retirement rules will change to allow phased
retirement without financial penalty
- New rules - and or discrimination cases -
will compel employers to offer many more jobs on
a flexible working basis
- By 2020, 60% of employees will use at least
one kind of flexible working. 20% of the
workforce will work most of the time at/from
- Environmentalists finally change tack away
from greening the office. Maximum BREEAM
rating can now be earned by not having an
- Neighbourhood work hubs, with local councils
as anchor tenants, will start to emerge
- 3D business applications come onto the
market, along with much more immersive
- ... but the biggest-selling application is a
Princess Lea 'screensaver' that hops around the
desk, arguably violating clear desk policies.
- Finally, in 2020, broadband reaches rural
Britain. But no application can operate on
the bandwidth that eventually arrives.
In 2020, Flexibility will be
in its 27th year. Unless, by then, we're not
needed any more as the whole world goes flexible.
A long shot, perhaps.