Oct 08, 2019 in Viewpoint

3 statements with Philip Ross about the future of work

We had the pleasure of catching up with Philip Ross, in preparation for WORKTECH Amsterdam, which will take place on the 15th of November. Philip is the founder and CEO of UnWork.com and WORKTECH, an author, consultant, and commentator specializing in the future of work. He predicts the way new trends will shape the workplace of the future. At Mapiq, we love to talk about the future of smart offices, so we challenged him with 3 thought-provoking statements. What does he think? Illusion, or reality?

Anne Wernand
by Anne Wernand
Philip Ross
Philip Ross is the founder and CEO of UnWork.com and WORKTECH, author, consultant, and commentator specializing in the future of work

Smart technology is something for the big offices of today. This technology will be moving towards more medium-small enterprises within 3 years

“Yes, this will happen! Small organizations are going to leap from big corporates. The big corporates say they are ocean liners, but they actually want to be smaller yachts. Small companies already are the smaller vessels and will be able to change direction more easily and surf the waves that are formed by the big ships.

In the upcoming years, office tools will migrate to the cloud and everything will become mobile. This also applies to smart office platforms. The technology will become accessible to smaller enterprises because it’s less dependent on building structures. I believe that within three years, smaller enterprises will also have a smart platform implemented, which will make their workday at the office more efficient.”

Privacy worries are going to be the reason for stagnation in the development of smart offices

“Definitely not. Yes, it is one of the biggest topics we have to tackle, but it’s not going to disrupt the growth of the market. Let’s take generation Z as an example. The typical 15 year old grew up with smart technology. They are completely transparent about their preferences and whereabouts online. Their expectations of the workplace are already more innovative than we can imagine.

However, I do see two important things: trust and fear of change. Facebook has abused the privacy of its users, which drives the privacy debate for companies who work with data. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, people are now just more conscious about what they share with companies, but than again, not every generation is.

And when it comes to change, people are naturally attached to habits. Think about other technologies that we’ve now embraced, but couldn't imagine years ago – such as GPS. In the beginning, there is always a lot of fear about tools invading our privacy. But after a while, we won’t remember life without it. I believe that’s also the case with smart offices.”

We’re never going to find a quantitative number that can define the level of productivity of an employee

“No, I don’t agree. I believe that if we could understand data from a different perspective, we can say something about productivity. You can, for example, look at the top 2% of performers of companies. What are these people doing on a daily basis? Where do they work? How much time do they spend in meetings? How many employees are in those meetings? If we take a good look at the data, we can find underlying predictors. This overlaps with smart office platforms. We can connect the data from the spaces to the actual performance. If we know that in a certain room the most deals are closed, meet there!”

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