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48% of Workers Say the Office Will "Disappear" by 2021

Wfh lady The world of work is changing: The IDC estimates that by 2013, mobile workers (that is, people working outside of a company office more than 20 percent of the time) will represent more than a third of the world’s workforce. recently conducted a poll of site visitors, and it seems that they are very aware of this trend. In fact, 48 percent of respondents said that they expect the modern office to disappear by 2021.

We asked, "Which of these statements do you think describes the office of 2021?" Here are the responses:

    * It will be pretty much the same as office of 2011. 10%

    * It will be better: Technology and social changes will improve working life. 28%

    * It will be worse: Technology and social changes will make work more difficult. 14%

    * It will disappear: Technology will allow workers to work from wherever they are. 48%

Tips for Home Workers
But are we ready for the work-from-home revolution? Here are five tips:

1. As someone who works remotely, it's important for you to make an extra effort to connect with your colleagues. There’s a misconception that shyer, less-outgoing people will be well suited to working from home; in fact, they are likelier to flounder, according to a Bloomberg study. (Gregarious types will make those important connections anyway.)

2. It’s important that you be very well organized when working from home -- and that you communicate frequently, especially with your manager. Check in frequently and send status updates, and talk to your boss about how he or she prefers to communicate. Beware of being "out of sight, out of mind." Set up regular check-ins with peers, clients, and so on.

3. Consider setting up time-tracking software on your computer (there are many free apps). Even if your company doesn’t require it, it can be helpful for you to know how many hours you are working.

4. Don’t rely solely on email – a phone call can work wonders when an email exchange gets tense or complicated.

5. The best home-office setup is one that is distinct from your home environment -- that is, it's definitely a "work zone." This can help you keep a level of work-life balance -- if your work laptop is on your dining-room table at all times, you may tend to work all the time. Also, having a separate office will help prevent you from being distracted when you need to focus on work.

For more thoughts on flex-space working, read "The Pros and Cons of Working from Home."

How do you feel about the possible "disappearance" of the office? What are your tips for working from home? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

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