Is Flexible Working Making Offices Obsolete?

Think “work” and nine out of ten times, the next word that pops into the mind is “office”. We have gotten so used to associating “work” with “office” that it is almost impossible to separate the two. But today, information technology has revolutionised not only the way we live and communicate but also the way we work. It is no longer about having a physical presence in corporate brick and mortar offices. What would have sounded as an absurd, impossible idea just a couple of decades ago is steadily becoming the norm today. Now, all you need is an internet connection and voilà – you have the whole world at your fingertips. And you could be anywhere – in a virtual office, a café, on the metro, in a park or comfortably ensconced in your own home.

It has all been made possible thanks to the amazing connectivity that modern technology allows us. We can do almost anything online – interact with clients, arrange video conferences, buy and sell assets, share presentations, documents and other data. These online collaborations have reduced the need for actual face to face interactions, even making it possible to communicate on mobile devices, while we are on the go.

Are Offices Becoming Obsolete?Why offices are becoming redundant

The GenX workforce: The latest generation has practically grown up with gadgets and therefore using technology comes intuitively to them. The world of internet has opened up a universe of limitless possibilities for them – so this ability to engage with others, coupled with their enormous creativity and innovative ideas have created infinite opportunities for productivity and professional growth. For GenX work is seamless and often blends in smoothly with other facets of their life, no longer restricting them to any specific location.

Flexible working enhances creativity: Several surveys and studies conducted have revealed that prospective employees view those organisations that offer remote working arrangements in a more favourable light. Taking the argument ahead, it has also been observed that flexible working reduces the attrition rate and enables businesses to attract and retain the best talent.

Cost Effectiveness: Offices are expensive as they need space and elaborate infrastructure in order to function. With the unpredictable economic climate, many businesses are looking to save costs by doing away with large office buildings, encouraging their employees to work remotely instead. This translates into savings worth millions of pounds per year/company.

Cuts down on commute time: It has been estimated that people all around the world spend between 1-3 hours in the daily commute to work which amounts to a maximum of 15 hours/week. This is almost as much time as is spent doing a part time job, instead, in this case you are losing not only precious time but wasting money on the commute as well. Many consider the zero commute time to be the greatest advantage of virtual working.

An improved quality of life: By getting rid of corporate office spaces people are also freed from the stressful corporate office culture with its deadlines, pressures and politics. Flexible working and work from home arrangements make room for personal commitments, resulting in a happier, more contented and as a consequence, more productive workforce.

If we want to achieve real progress, it is important to recognise changing trends, adapt to new concepts and gradually allow new ideas to replace the old. It’s time we looked beyond conventional working methods and spaces, to see the larger, wider picture about working without boundaries and restrictions, facilitating enhanced creativity and fostering greater collaborations that span countries and continents.

Arise and the Virtual Working Model

Arise has pioneered and championed the virtual working cause since way back in 1997 in the US.  Today it partners with over 25000 independent businesses that function from home and provide top class customer service to reputed brands across the world.

To find out more about virtual working and setting up an independent business please contact the Arise Admission Team on 0131 200 2100 or email them at


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