The UK is at the tipping point of a workplace revolution that could result in drastic change to offices, cities, economy and culture, according to a new study from communications business Mitel.

The report from Mitel has coined a new term 'Work 3.0', to describe how technology, individualised working and a transformation of the physical workplace are "catalysing radical change" resulting in new ways of smarter more agile working methods.

The study "Work 3.0 - The Next generation business model for smarter businesses" found that smartphones, tablet and cloud technologies are having on the current workforce and the way we work, with the majority (81%) of UK workers now wanting to break free from a nine to five culture or adopt new ways of working. This figure is even higher (87%) for younger generations who, Mitel argues, are the biggest drivers of the revolution.

Based on this research, Mitel presents the 'human cloud' concept - born out of the interplay between the BYOD trend, virtualisation, unified communications (UC) and more - whereby workers no longer need to take ownership of a physical space or specific device. Beyond simply hooking their personal tablet onto the company network, the 'human cloud' will see every document, IT tool and application, even work phones and voicemail, all hosted in the cloud and accessible at a moment's notice on any device, in any location.

For businesses, Mitel predicts much-needed cost savings and a boom in productivity, with virtually limitless access to a global pool of talent. It also believes Work 3.0 could also dramatically improve operations and drive business growth.

The era of virtual staffing

Mitel also believed the newways of working are likely to increase the number of start-up businesses, as traditional overheads such as property and staff become 'virtual' and can be scaled up or down almost instantly.

Steve Little, CIO, Mitel, commented, "Technology is not only a key driver of new working practices, it will also be responsible for making sure that businesses are equipped to manage the change. The last decade has seen an explosion of game-changing technologies and our report suggests that once these truly get a foothold in UK businesses, the impact will be enormous. Establishing a culture of dynamism will be of benefit to individual workers, businesses and markets, and could help to give the UK economy a real competitive edge on the global stage.