What does the office of the future look like?
This is a question many enterprises are asking themselves as they attempt to reshape and reinvent their workplaces for a technology-oriented future. With most of today’s offices designed for a vanishing era, where workstations, cubicles and corner offices dominated, the move has real implications for employee satisfaction, productivity and company culture.
With this in mind, here are some megatrends that will define the offices of tomorrow.
A lot more like home
Numerous studies have shown that people are more engaged and productive if they can choose how they work. That means the office of the future is going to look a lot less like a traditional office and more like home, or at least like a hybrid of the two. Commercial architects will place more emphasis on natural light, ergonomics and functional furniture that you might expect to see in residential settings.
Rest, work, play
The office of the future is all about creating flexible, collaborative workspaces suitable for a range of functions – not just work. Say goodbye to generic cookie-cutter workstations and conventional meeting rooms, and make way for open spaces for work, rest and play. Office interiors need to be rethought, with areas designed with particular activities in mind. The goal is to create an atmosphere that promotes conversation, encourages collaboration and inspires innovation.
Millennials, or #GenMobile, will dominate the office of the future, so workplaces need to meet their needs and expectations. They are fun loving, tech savvy and expect a connected, flexible (hot-desking) and collaborative working environment. They also want the ability to work from anywhere without restriction, so office technology should facilitate this. Videoconferencing capabilities that enable communication across a global workforce are another must, as are high-performance mobile networks and an all-wireless workplace.
The branded workplace
How an office looks and feels also has a direct impact on the way employees perform, which is why forward-thinking businesses need to focus on internal branding. Workplace branding shapes the design and aesthetics of the work environment, with the goal of fostering a positive workplace culture. This branding should reflect the organisation’s cultural values, with a strong emphasis on employee needs.
The upside of this evolution in office design is that staff are more likely to perform at the top of their game, so organisations will ultimately benefit.