How Technology Affects the Work Environment Today by Natalie Verdiguel

Posted on September 6th, 2017

The following essay was written as an entry for the 2017/2018 Scholarship by the 1st place award winner Natalie Verdiguel from the University of Central Florida. Thank you for your submission, Natalie, and congratulations on winning 1st place!


“How Technology Affects the Work Environment Today”

Technology has affected the workplace in ways that have changed it permanently. With the widespread use of mobile devices like cell phones and tablets, work is no longer limited to materials just in the office. Now, doing anything from finishing a presentation to having a meeting via conference call can all be done from the comfort of wherever a worker chooses. Of course time at the office is still essential, but technology allows those unable to be present at such a location, like in the case of large businesses, to be present without physically traveling to the desired location. It is quicker and more cost effective without sacrificing the personal relationship that develop with meeting face to face. Technology has increased efficiency and

One of the most noticeable aspects of change is the way technology is redefining the very meaning of a workplace. Employees are no longer confined to cubicles and board rooms, but now have the option of working from the comfort of their Orlando apartments, cars, hotel rooms, or anywhere else they deem convenient if necessary. Personal technology has made its way into the workplace; “Instead of relying on IT-sanctioned desktop computers and centrally deployed software, you’re much more likely to find people using their personal mobile devices to check work email, review company data, manage projects, and create content” (Slattery, 2017). Workers are no longer limited to their office computer for accessing important documents and information; with the advent of smart phones and tablets, work related materials are now easily transferable and are made more accessible where having a computer may not be an option. As long as there is a device and a secure internet connection, work can be done anywhere at any time.

In addition to not being confined to the traditional workplace, technologies like video chat and email have also streamlined communications for companies where a singular workplace is not an option. For large, international businesses, this technology can save a company the expenses like transportation, hotel, and food that is involved in the travel necessary for everyone to meet in a single location. The way meetings are carried out have changed immensely, “Collaboration used to happen in board rooms with whiteboards and bagels. Today, it’s on documents being edited by multiple people all over the world at the same time. It’s sharing screen data and chatting over video. ‘Seventy-nine percent of people work on virtual teams’” (Burg, 2013). With the ease that comes with meeting digitally versus in person, its no wonder why the traditional meeting setting of a boardroom is becoming a thing of the past.

Aside from just conference calls and emails, technology helps workers feel more connected to their workplace and coworkers. Social media sites help bridge the gap between professional and personal, “The surprising truth about social networks is that it fills the humanity gap many global workers feel in cold, impersonal email chains and conference calls.” (Burg, 2013). With sites like Facebook, it is easy to connect with coworkers, and the benefits are numerous. Connecting outside of work situations with social media develops networking opportunities and a sense of camaraderie that aids in group efforts, increasing productivity.

The benefits of technology in the workplace overwhelmingly outnumbers any potential drawbacks it may come with. An online survey conducted September 12-18, 2014, was analyzed by Pew Research with 1,066 participants age 18 and older who use the internet or email at least occasionally, or have access to a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet at least occasionally. The general consensus on technology and productivity was as follows:

“Overall, 92% of working adults say the internet has not hurt their productivity at work. This includes 46% who say the internet has made them more productive and another 46% who say the internet has had no impact on their productivity. Fewer than one in ten working adults say the internet has made them less productive in the workplace.” (Purcell, Rainie, 2014).

This research supports the belief that technology facilitates productivity, as in another part of the survey, 35% of adults reported that the mobility of technology has increased the amount of time they spend working. With allowing more time to be spent working and increased productivity, technology has benefited the workplace by lessening the risk of missed deadlines and unsatisfactory work as a result of rushed efforts.

With technology, a workplace no longer has to fit the conventional standards of an office or cubicle space. Now, a workplace is just that; a place work can be done, regardless of location. It has allowed for more convenience and mobility, as well as connected larger companies with ease and cost effectiveness without sacrificing interpersonal relations. Social media bridges that gap seamlessly with sites like Facebook that make outside of work connections simple, as well as allowing for networking opportunities. Technology has changed the workplace from a designated
building, to any place that work can be done.

Works Cited

  • Burg, Natalie. “UnifyVoice: How Technology Has Changed Workplace Communication.”Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 11 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 July 2017.
  • Purcell, Kristen, and Lee Rainie. “Email and the Internet Are the Dominant Technological Tools in American Workplaces.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. N.p., 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 29 July 2017.
  • Slattery, Avanade Mick. “How Consumer Technology Is Remaking the Workplace.” Wired. Conde Nast, 06 Aug. 2015. Web. 29 July 2017. 2017/2018 Scholarship Award Winners

Posted on August 23rd, 2017

Thank you to all of the students who took the time to send in essays on “How Does Technology Affect the Work Environment Today” in an effort to win one of the 2017/2018 academic scholarship awards.

We were truly inspired to read each piece and realize what an amazing amount of talent the young people of this country possess. We wish each and every one of you an exciting and successful year ahead as you put in the time and effort to advance your career opportunities, innovate, inspire and lead.

We are pleased to present this year’s winners of the 2017/2018 Academic Scholarship Award.

1st Award: $1000
Winner: Natalie Verdiguel
University of Central Florida

2nd Award: $500
Winner: Hana M. Komine
University of California, Berkeley

3rd Award: $200
Winner: Anindita Nath
University of Texas at El Paso

We look forward to sharing their essays with you via the blog over the coming weeks.

Office Space Options: Serviced Office Space

Posted on July 27th, 2017

The following is the sixth in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking and project space, business incubators, conventional office accommodation to virtual office space options, managed offices to shared co-working options.

Typically located in business districts of larger cities, serviced offices are becoming more of a standard and less of a trend for today’s small business owner. And why not? Renting a serviced office space cuts down on a number of issues and costs associated with having an office. Most importantly, rental of a serviced office space provides an immediate solution to the office space problem.

The Whole Package

Serviced offices are ready to go as soon as you sign the agreement. There is very little delay between deciding to open an office and actually having an office ready for business.

Serviced offices are usually rented on a month to month basis, as opposed to the long term three to five year commitment of a traditional office space lease. The monthly rent may appear to be slightly higher than the traditional lease price, but the whole package aspect of serviced offices makes them a better deal. New businesses, start-ups, and small businesses may neglect to calculate the additional costs of furnishings, equipment, and staff when they consider opening an office. The whole package concept eliminates the worry of those forgotten expenses.

Rental costs frequently include the costs of:


Businesses can begin straight to work on the first day without any delays waiting for deliveries of desks, lamps, bookshelves, or chairs. A serviced office includes all of these. In addition, conference rooms, kitchens, meeting spaces, and other shared amenities are available as needed. Conference rooms, for example, can be rented by the hour as an addendum to your office space lease. Read More »

Office Space Options: Virtual Office Services

Posted on June 24th, 2017

The following is the fifth in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking and project space, business incubators, conventional office accommodation, managed offices to shared co-working options.

For a business in need a prestigious office address and presence without an office lease, virtual office options are a great solution.

What is a Virtual Office?
A virtual office is a most effective solution to the dilemma faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs. Virtual offices provide an address, usually in a recognized business district, and other amenities that allow users to maintain a professional image without having to maintain a high cost conventional office space.

Why have a Virtual Office?
A virtual office allows work from home entrepreneurs more economic efficiency.  Having a virtual office helps retain the image of a traditional business, with a professional office address, without the expense of renting an office in the business district. Virtual office users have the benefit of being able to flexibly match expenses with incomes—increasing or decreasing the services as their revenue fluctuates.

Virtual offices can help reduce overhead while maintaining a high level of professionalism. They provide you with both communication services and physical space services, based on your need and determined by you.

What is included?
Generally, a virtual provider offers a business address and mail handling services, at the least. At the most, programs will include physical offices, dedicated phone lines with receptionist service, and meeting spaces. Virtual office services offer a variety of packages that include some or all of these amenities. Some services allow you to customize a package to suit your particular needs. Read More »

Office Space Options: Managed Office Space

Posted on May 29th, 2017

The following is the fourth in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking and project space, business incubators, conventional office accommodation to shared co-working options.

For a personalized office without purchasing an office building or committing to a long term lease, consider a Managed Office Space.

Perhaps you’ve seen those signs in the business district “Leasing: will build to suit.” Those signs are symbolic of the benefits of a managed office space. Managed offices are not cookie-cutter offices.  A managed office space can be “built to suit,” can be designed to meet the specific needs of your business.

Aren’t Managed Offices the same as Serviced Offices?

Like serviced offices, managed offices are typically rented fully furnished and equipped for immediate occupation. Also like a serviced office, a managed office space is rented on pay as you go type flexible terms. Unlike a serviced office, managed offices are usually not located in the uptown glass tower high rise office structure.  They are generally located in smaller buildings and in buildings with more personality.

There are two key differences between a serviced office and a managed office: location and branding and clerical services.


Managed offices are not attached to the brand of the office building—they are open to your own branding. A managed office is tailored to your specifications, with your branding and your workspace requirements. Frequently managed office providers will handling the entire office set-up for you. Some of the processes handled by the provider are decorating and design requirements; tailoring the space to your needs; procuring of furniture, IT, communications systems; managing the IT and communications maintenance; and, if needed, locating the ideal building and negotiating the lease for the space. Ideally, the managed office provider finds and creates for you the exact vision you have for your business. Read More »

Office Space Options: Project/Team Space

Posted on April 27th, 2017

The following is the third in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking,  business incubators, conventional office accommodation to shared co-working options.

Project/Team Space

Creating a dedicated place in your office space for teams to work on projects is one of the most overlooked yet most beneficial features of a work place. Especially for a business where collaboration is expected and team work is the status quo.

Dedicated Project Workspace

Having a dedicated space, means that project teams can begin their meetings quickly, as the space not only contains the work remnants of their last meeting, but also creates a mindset of “lets’ do this”.

Ideally this team project work space is dedicated to the specific project, and team members can leave their work product lying around in that space between meetings.

For example, Google Ventures calls their project space the War room. It has nearly floor to ceiling whiteboards, flexible and moveable furnishings, so the room can be set up with couches, with tables if needed, with roundtable type chair groupings…whatever the need, the room can be manipulated to meet that need. Read More »

A Look At Creative Office Space In Houston

Posted on March 28th, 2017

In line with global trends, demand for creative space is also on the rise in Texas’ largest city. Houston’s creative sector has been described as a “sleeping giant” due to its enormous potential to become one of the leading sources of income and employment in the Lone Star state. Currently, over 113,000 Houston companies are involved in this sector, which generates $25b in sales and employs nearly 180,000 people across the state.

In view of these figures, it is hardly surprising to see that companies in virtually every business sector are considering adding creative space to their business accommodation offerings. This is the case despite the dominance of the energy and engineering sectors, which typically are not as innovative as others, although they are beginning to understand the value of creative workspace and to realize that conventional office space presents some obstacles to innovation and creativity.

Below are some examples that showcase the most inspiring creative office spaces in Houston.

GreenStreet is a 570,000-square feet mixed-use commercial development that is home to The Concept, where several units offer collaborative space in one of the city’s top locations. Creative space ranges from small floor plates to large work areas of up to 37,000 square feet, all of which are designed and furnished to facilitate collaboration and innovation. Units feature open plan space, private and shared offices, training and meeting rooms, kitchen, and dedicated break and wellness areas.

There is a great deal of creative space springing in Houston’s Midtown and Uptown, although over the past 5 years warehouse-to-office conversions have also become common along Washington Avenue, Montrose, and east of downtown. In Midtown, Wi+CoWork ( offers shared space to the local creative community on a membership basis. Office space at Wi+CoWork includes access to conference rooms, community events, and office support services. Read More »

Office Space Options: Startup Space and Business Incubators

Posted on February 24th, 2017

The following is the second in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking, conventional office accommodation to shared coworking options.

What is a startup?

Before discussing the qualities of a startup space or incubator, it is worth determining exactly what a startup is.

Theoretically, any new business whose market is not defined by location could be considered a startup. (For example, a newly opened restaurant is indeed a small business, but, because the market is location based, it is not a startup.)

In terms of use in today’s economy, a startup is a small business, usually technology oriented; startups generally provide service to a worldwide market. Tech startups are not confined by location or operating hours only by how many consumers or clients they can reach.


In the non business world, an incubator is a warm safe place for a baby or a baby chick to get a nice healthy start to life. In the business world, an incubator is much the same. Incubators provide services that help startups get through those trials faced by new businesses.


Some of the services provided by incubators are:

  • Legal: things like proprietary guidelines, creating bylaws or business plans, and navigating the regulations of your industry.
  • Business management: basic accounting services, business organization tips, company setup, and help with building and framing the identity of your startup.
  • Marketing: market research and networking.
  • Funding: access to angel investors or venture capitalists and help in locating other sources of funding for your startup.
  • Networking: introduction to others in your industry, networking with mentors, investors, and industry specialists.
  • Site services: an office or team workspace, access to high-speed internet, copying and faxing, and other clerical or administrative services. Read More »

USA Office Market Forecast 2017

Posted on February 2nd, 2017

USA Office Buildings offices.netOverview of USA Office Market

During 2016, the USA office market was marked by a climate of cautious optimism and moderate growth across the board. This was mostly evident in office rental rates, which increased by a modest 0.1 per cent or even declined in cities like Chicago, New York, Washington and San Francisco. This was coupled with a slow-down in leasing activity, as net absorption rates only reached 6.5 million square feet during the last quarter of 2016. The bulk of lease transactions consisted of small and medium-sized office properties, and the total number of leases exceeding 500,000 dropped by 43 per cent.

Key market indicators (such as take-up, vacancy, and availability rates) were linked to the performance of those industry sectors that make up for the bulk of office occupiers in the USA. 2016 saw a tightening of the labor market in the tech sector, driving vacancy rates down to break the 10 per cent barrier for the first time. This offset the relative stagnation in activity coming from occupiers involved in financial services, legal, and government.

Important figures that reveal the market’s performance during 2016 included:

– A total inventory in excess of 137 million square feet

– Total vacancy rates of 16.9 per cent

– Annual net absorption above 1.1 million square feet

– Nationwide average asking rates $23.91

– Office space under construction 4.9 million square feet, of which 53.7 per cent is already pre-leased

USA Office Market Forecast 2017


USA Office Market by City

Mid-sized markets were among the best performers in the year that has just ended. Portland, Nashville, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio were characterized by occupancy increases that averaged 3 per cent. In San Francisco, market indicators were also positive despite the fact that occupancy growth levels dropped from 2.9 to 1.1 per cent. Other regional office markets that did well included Austin, Silicon Valley, and Seattle. In these markets, occupancy growth averaged 2 per cent. Read More »

Office Space Options: Business Centres and Business Parks

Posted on January 9th, 2017

The following is the first in our series focusing on providing information on the various types of office space available, from business parks to hot desking, conventional office accommodation to shared coworking options.

Business centers and business parks are locations with several businesses grouped together, like a shopping center, but for commercial and office based businesses. The typical business park is a development of land and buildings set aside exclusively for the use of offices of all sizes and designs.

Business Parks in the Suburbs

Business parks are found in cities, but are more frequently located in suburban areas. Developers build a variety of sizes and designs of office spaces in one location. Available spaces will vary from a single occupancy 400 square foot office space to a 50,000 square foot warehouse space, all on one site. Occasionally, within the business park, you’ll find a larger building with several offices—these are frequently owned or managed by a single entity. Owners of the larger building typically rent the spaces to small businesses as conventional, serviced, or virtual offices.

A business park is in stark contrast with the big city high rise type business locations. Business parks are often designed to resemble a university campus or suburban neighborhood. There are one or two story buildings, instead of twenty story skyscrapers; there are green spaces; there may be fountains or park benches in the surrounding areas. These business parks are ideal locations for service or retail based businesses that need a location for customers to visit.

Some business parks become so large and welcoming to businesses that they begin to resemble a small town. As the success of businesses located at a specific park grows, more and more businesses choose to locate there. From that point it may seem inevitable that neighborhoods and communities begin to sprout up in the area.

The Appeal of Business Parks

For many companies, cost effectiveness proves to be the drawing feature to a business park space. The spaces are usually more affordable than commercial or retail spaces in other locations. Often a group of similarly based businesses, such as medical specialists, will locate in a business park creating a network of services that appeal to consumers.

Typically, the companies located in a business park will be diverse, varying from service based industries, such as computer repair, for example, to investment firms that are closed to the public. The diversity of the business park is limited only by the amenities offered by the developers. Business parks can help create a concentrated, affordable non-industrial office district and contribute to the communities in which they are constructed.


For information on business centre and office accommodation opportunities across the US click here.