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In the previous century, the office space consisted of little cubicles with desks and uncomfortable chairs, neon lights by the dozen, a stuffy atmosphere and large computers, telephones that often did not work. It is difficult for today’s youngsters to imagine how employees were motivated to be creative and efficient in that kind of atmosphere.
Touch of colour and life
Then gradually, the big computers gave way to smaller desk-top computers and then to laptops. The cubicles remained, the landline telephones remained but there was a touch of colour and life and freshness in the air. An improvement, but not something that would inspire the current generation.
In today’s world of business things are vastly different. Offices are “artistically” done up, furniture is ergonomically designed and visually appealing, lighting is specially organized to stimulate creativity, colours are selected to enhance productivity, there is digital communication across the world, there is muted music and there are little corners for meditation and relaxation. Offices like these are fast replacing the stodgy images of “offices” of yester years.
Shift in perceptions
With office spaces changing so fast, there is also a shift in perceptions about what workplaces should represent. Progressive entrepreneurs feel that the workplace should be designed to provide an atmosphere where employees feel encouraged to give off their best.
The workplace should nurture a feeling of being part of a large, well-bonded community. It should inspire and enthuse people to be innovative, creative and bring in new, original ideas and ways of working. In short, the workplace should promote professional, personal, mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Latent entrepreneurial spirit
Not just that, the workplace should be such as to stimulate and advance the latent entrepreneurial spirit in people, encourage them to push innovation to higher levels and induce them to strive for success for themselves and hence for the organization. It should also enable its high performing employees to experiment and learn entrepreneurial skills by venturing outside the official workplace and enhance their capabilities.
Entrepreneurs need to provide more than just a place to work in. They need to build up employee capability, enhance team-work, increase output, augment the innovative space, increase connectivity, aid networking and push up employee morale. They need to create an environment that will give rise to a new community of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who will lead the organization into the future.
Vision of the workplace
An office is not just a beautifully designed space with fancy lighting, expensive furniture and new-age equipment. In addition to this it needs a team of people to run the business. People who are committed and able to work together as a team.
If we were to look into the future, the vision of the workplace will probably be different from what it is today. We already have people who no longer work out of formal offices – they work out of homes, cafes, cars and trains – they work through the internet in what is almost a virtual world. As we move further into this century , it is possible that all that will be required for the “workplace” will be a pair of head=phones designed specifically for each person such that it provides all the stimulation and nurturing that is required to motivate them to work untiringly towards success.