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What Will Your Business Center Look Like in 2020?

December 14, 2011

OT Staff, OfficingToday.com, “What Will Your Business Center Look Like in 2020?” http://www.officingtoday.com/index.php?news=748 Posted December 14th, 2009. Retrieved December 14th, 2011.

In less than a decade, as employees “bring their own technology” with them, the workplace will shift to wherever an employee is located. So predict the results of a survey from CoreNet Global’s Corporate Real Estate 2020.

The question is: Why can’t that employee be located, at least at times, in your business center? The answer is: There’s no reason why not, if you set up your business center to accommodate the needs of mobile workers.

Corporate Real Estate 2020 shines a light on how technology is radically changing the nature of work and even transcending science fiction. If you think sci-fi is too exotic a description, consider the realities already present in the business world today.

We’ve got collaboration in our pockets. Artificial intelligence apps like Siri is a big hit. Then there’s biometric security on laptops and building entrances, smart buildings that turn on lights, air conditioning and other elements according to occupants, unified communications, and even the ability to wear—or implant—digital devices on our bodies. Get the picture?

Now consider the bring your own technology, or BYOT, trend. CoreNet Global is predicting this trend will impact the size and design of the corporate office. Employees will need fewer square feet. At the same time, open, collaborative workspaces will gain momentum even as cubicle and personal office-space designs continue fading.

“BYOT is happening now,” says Corporate Real Estate 2020 Technology Team member Keith Perske of E-Business Strategies. “Corporations cannot keep up with personal technology, so the next step is already happening.”

This plays right into the hands of forward-thinking business centers. While there will always be a place for private offices, the move toward mobility and collaboration sets the stage for modern business centers to configure space in a way that attracts road warriors, telecommuters and others who need a place to plug into a professional atmosphere.

Business centers need to consider having an information technology pro on staff—or contracting with an IT services provider—who can help keep your networks running strong. With the growing emphasis on mobility and other forms of flexible work, as well as the increasing the IT interface with CRE executives who often manage alternative workplace strategies, business centers that demonstrate strong networking options and tech savvy could be the winners in the coming years.

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