As companies look to position themselves to take advantage of technological change, the purpose of office environments is about to alter. And they will become the hub of value creation where employees and external experts get together to create and collaborate supported by innovations such as virtual and augmented reality, says JLL in its Workspace Reworked report.
The nature of work undertaken in the office will become more creative and collaborative with an increasing number of dynamic Hollywood-style models in operation where ad hoc teams of specialists form on a project-by-project basis become commonplace, says JLL.
And technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality will be employed to enhance collaboration between employees based in different locations. Ford has been testing out Oculus Rift headsets to enable designer teams of based to meet virtually and experiment with new designs. Emerge, part of Cisco’s innovation lab, has been experimenting with a VR reality telepresence system pairing a headset in one location with a robot head in another, enabling a user to experience a meeting as though they were present. Microsoft has shown how its HoloLens tech could be used to allow meetings to take place through ‘holoportation’, aka AR projections of a person that can move around a distant space as though actually there.
And as these systems come down in price, they will become standard technology in the workplace, the report says.
“Large corporates will consolidate their core space into fewer locations that will act as the hub of real estate strategy,” states JLL. “These locations will reinforce culture, instil brand and encourage interaction and collaboration. Around these hubs will be networks of alternative spaces comprised of a blend of co-working space, serviced offices, the home office, hotels, airport lounges and other flexible and liquid locations for staff to work from.