OFFICE OF THE FUTURE: 2020 - Research Identifies Future Workplace Trends and Skills Necessary for Success

Jun 15, 2005, 01:00 ET from OfficeTeam

    MENLO PARK, Calif., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The future office will be
 increasingly mobile, with technology enabling employees to perform their jobs
 from virtually anywhere, according to Office of the Future: 2020, a research
 study recently released by OfficeTeam. But greater control over where and how
 people work won't necessarily translate into more free time. Forty-two percent
 of executives polled said they believe employees will be working more hours in
 the next 10 to 15 years.
     OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled
 administrative professionals, created Office of the Future: 2020 as a
 follow-up to its previous research project, Office of the Future: 2005,
 released in 1999. Trends identified then are a reality today, including the
 use of multifunctional, wireless technology to conduct business from various
 locales. Administrative professionals also are now playing a greater role in
 activities such as Internet research, desktop publishing, computer training
 and support, and website maintenance.
     With Office of the Future: 2020, OfficeTeam examines trends that may
 impact the workplace in the next 10 to 15 years. In addition to interviews
 with workplace and technology experts, futurists, and trend watchers,
 OfficeTeam surveyed workers and executives at the nation's 1,000 largest
     "Technology will continue to reshape the workplace, changing how and where
 we conduct business," said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam.
 "As a result, flexibility and adaptability will be sought-after attributes in
 employees at all levels."
     Among the findings:
     -- Technology tools to provide even greater flexibility -- Miniature
        wireless devices, WiFi, WiMax and mobile technology will continue to
        allow a company's staff to work outside of the office with greater
        ease. Additionally, virtual environments and web-based conferencing
        services will provide off-site employees with real-time access to
        meetings, reducing the need to travel.
     -- Telecommuting to rise -- Improved wireless connectivity will allow for
        an increasingly flexible workforce. Eighty-seven percent of executives
        surveyed believe telecommuting will increase in the next 10 to
        15 years. Telecommuting enables employees to work where it's most
        convenient, but it also challenges their interpersonal skills. They
        must build relationships with coworkers while having fewer in-person
     -- Staff to put in more time -- Forty-two percent of executives surveyed
        by OfficeTeam think employees will be working more hours in 10 to
        15 years. Only 9 percent said they would be working fewer hours.
     -- Workers will stay in touch while on vacation -- With the proliferation
        of wireless technology, staff will be expected to remain in close
        contact with the office while they're away. Eighty-six percent of
        executives surveyed said workers will be more connected to the office
        while on vacation in the future.
     -- Companies/employees take a new view on work/life balance -- People may
        put in more time, but they will do so using tools that provide more
        control over their schedules and enable them to better balance
        priorities. There will be an increasingly blurred line between work and
        other activities; people will need to multitask to meet all of their
        obligations efficiently.
     After concluding research and pinpointing future workplace trends,
 OfficeTeam and industry experts identified six skills professionals will need
 to prepare for success in this new environment. The skills form the acronym
 ACTION. They are:
     -- Analysis: Analyzing information and exercising good judgment
     -- Collaboration: Establishing rapport and facilitating team building
     -- Technical aptitude: Selecting the best technical tools and using them
     -- Intuition: Identifying and adapting to the needs and work styles of
     -- Ongoing education: Engaging in continual learning
     -- Negotiation: Participating in business discussions that produce
        positive results
     "In the future office, there will be added pressure to adapt quickly to
 change, work smarter, increase productivity and perform duties outside of
 one's job description," said Domeyer. "The good news is that emerging
 technological tools and educational opportunities will better enable
 professionals to meet these challenges."
     Visit to find additional research findings,
 survey charts and video clips, and to test your ACTION skills.
     OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job
 search services at

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