Are we nearing the end of the office-based workforce?

Life as an employee is characterised by tradition, stability and routine. From early morning alarms to battling traffic during extended commutes to work, the world's office employees have been united in this front. 

Flexible working hours are changing employment opportunities.

This has begun to change rapidly in recent years, as new demands for flexible working hours and conditions coupled with a proliferation of the technology necessary to do so means travelling to the office is no longer a necessity. In fact, as HR policies evolve to support this new generation of flexible workers, it could signal a greater change to the workforce overall. 

Employees escape the city

A recent report from nbn™ found that many employees are succumbing to the allure of regional locations as the need to come into the office every day diminishes. In fact, this trend might benefit more than just the employees that leave the city.

According to the United Nations, half of the human population currently reside in cities, a fact that's putting significant pressure on the world's infrastructure. As people leave cities, reducing traffic congestion and other damaging practices, it could result in a cleaner and greener workforce. 

This isn't quite a reality yet, but there is observable progress. The nbn™ found that, currently, lifestyle towns that are still within commutable distance of major population centres are the major drawcard for people looking for a change of scenery. 

The number of employment opportunities in the regions surrounding these lifestyle towns is also important for the majority of these people, a fact which could provide a new focus for recruitment consultants. With 65 per cent of people choosing their new place of residence by the amount of work available nearby, there's a new market for jobs that offer a healthy work/life balance. 

Rural settings can offer a healthier work/life balance.Rural settings can offer a healthier work/life balance.

Technology enables new employee lifestyles

It probably won't be a surprise to anyone, but the increased range and affordability of technology is enabling the workforce to fragment in this manner. With smartphones, tablets and laptops now common to the nation's employees, people – in some cases – are able to perform their role from almost anywhere, provided they have internet access. 

However, technology consumers are accustomed to evolution. As these devices are now considered a normal part of working life, there are now a range of new options for businesses and employees looking to ensure they remain ahead of the curve. 

Kite Communications believes that virtual reality will be an important communication trend in the coming months, particularly for industries that rely on selling an experience. With wearables also likely to see an increased uptake thanks to the release of the Apple Watch, there will be a range of new opportunities to embrace digital communication in the near future.