With an increasing number of people working as contractors, freelancers and in other flexible, self-employed ways following the recession, a new report suggests the traditional office environment could soon be a notion of the past.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has published the results of a survey involving 10,000 employees and 500 human resources (HR) professionals from the UK, US, India, China and Germany in a report entitled 'The future of work: A journey to 2022'.
Of the respondents, just 14 per cent said they wanted to work in a nine-to-five office job in the future.
Additionally, one-quarter of UK-based respondents said they did not think traditional employment would still exist by 2022.
Many reasons are likely to be behind this, such as the government's recent extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees in the UK.
In addition, advances in technology mean it is easier for people to operate remotely, whether that be from home or on the move.
HR consulting leader at PwC Jon Andrews commented: "It's clear from our research that traditional nine-to-five office working could soon become resigned to history for many workers.
"People feel strongly that they no longer want to work within the constraints of the typical office environment and advances in technology mean that workers no longer have to be shackled to their desks."
The report also found a significant number of HR professionals believe that at least 20 per cent of their workforce will comprise of contractors or other individuals employed on a temporary basis by 2022.
In preparation for this, almost one-third of HR specialists are now hiring a diverse workforce in terms of employment options, with the potential for this to bring financial benefits to firms, as staff may only need to be on the books for a particular period until a job requiring their skills has been completed.
While there are concerns not having one central office base for a business could result in a fragmented company, significant advances in technology should mean successful operations can be maintained.