6 People Shaping the Future of the Office
Meet the people responsible for the way youΓÇÖll work tomorrow. We take a look at some of the people shaping the future of the office.
1. Guy Lawrence, CEO, Vodafone UK
When Guy Lawrence joined Vodafone UK, he set about revolutionising the way its employees worked.
Today, thanks to his leadership, Vodafone is among the companies leading the charge for a leaner, more efficient office. Flexible working is strongly encouraged, with employees choosing the best location for completing the dayΓÇÖs tasks.
No one ΓÇô not even Guy ΓÇô owns a desk. Instead, the HQ has only enough deskspace for 70% of the companyΓÇÖs workforce. Everyone hotdesks. But most radical of all is the companyΓÇÖs clean desk policy: to discourage territorialism, every desk must be completely cleared each day. Anything left on the desk ΓÇô no matter how important or sentimentally valuable ΓÇô is incinerated.
2. Laszlo Bock, SVP, People Operations, Google
While the engineers and marketers are busy bringing the world the latest Google products, Laszlo is busy making sure the search giantΓÇÖs workforce has a motivational and productive place to work. Yes, thatΓÇÖs right ΓÇô he plays a huge part in the decisions behind those super-cool offices which are inspiring bosses and workers the world over and changing our expectations of what an office should be.
Among his many innovations, Laszlo is an advocate of the power nap, saying ΓÇ£no workplace is complete without a nap pod.ΓÇ¥
3. Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat MP
Jo Swinson might not be a designer or a technologist, but as Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, she plays a pivotal role in shaping the UK GovernmentΓÇÖs agenda on flexible working ΓÇô from the right to request it to campaigns which promote it.
Jo believes that flexible working has a big part to play in the future of the UK. Speaking at the Agile Future Forum earlier this year, she described flexible working as a ΓÇ£key part of the government’s commitment to overhaul rigid working arrangements and bring workplaces into the 21st centuryΓÇ¥.
4. Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer, Microsoft
As MicrosoftΓÇÖs Chief Envisioning Officer, itΓÇÖs DaveΓÇÖs job to survey current trends and envision how they will shape the future ΓÇô so that Microsoft can adapt their products accordingly. Given that Microsoft created most of the software we use every day, their hold over office computing makes this a very influential role.
Dave believes that although we have the technology to radically change the way we work, our attitudes to work are still stuck back in the nineteenth-century. His recently released book, Business Reimagined, is one step towards raising awareness of the barriers to truly effective working, and harnessing the full power of our technology.
5. Mark Dixon, Group Chief Executive, Regus
Mark founded Regus in 1989; today the serviced office provider operates 1,500 locations within 600 cities around the globe. The sheer size of Regus alone is enough to have a serious influence on the future of the office ΓÇô its widespread coverage over the globe has done so much to raise awareness of flexible office space, as well as making it more widely accessible.
But with Mark at its helm, the company has remained committed to innovation ΓÇô launching business lounges in motorway service stations is one recent innovation to improve the flexibility of where we work. As the company continues its expansion into new markets, it will also continue to make the flexible office yet more flexible ΓÇô and more widely available ΓÇô than ever more.
6. Michael Green, Architect
Michael Green wants to build skyscrapers out of wood. He believes that the eco-friendly nature of the material ΓÇô which produces far lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional materials such as steel and concrete ΓÇô could play a key role in helping to offset climate change.
This is particularly important given the rapid rate at which our cities are growing ΓÇô to accommodate an increasingly urbanised global population.
It might sound implausible ΓÇô but Michael is already busy putting his ideas into action. Construction work began earlier this year on North AmericaΓÇÖs tallest wooden building ΓÇô designed by Michael himself ΓÇô an ambitious vision which will stand 90ft high and contain an exhibition centre (about the role of wood in innovation and design), classrooms and office space.
How long before his ideas become more widely accepted architectural practice?
Who did we miss? Tell us in the comments below.
Image by TheeErin via Flickr.