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Just as the world, the economy, businesses, work skills and people are changing all over the globe, the workplace is also undergoing a fair amount of alteration. The change in the workplace here refers to how the office of the future will look – in order to be effective, the office space will have to keep track of advancing technology, innovative space designing, social, cultural changes and environmental impacts. Ideally the new workplace has to be designed to enable people to work on their own, in collaboration, from a physical workplace or from a remote location.
A lot of corporations are already “building” the office of tomorrow and it has brought to the forefront the trends and patterns that are guiding these changes in workplace design.
No longer necessary to sit at a desk
In today’s working world, it is no longer necessary to sit at a desk and carry out one’s work. Desktops have more or less beaten an exit. The trend now is to use personal, portable, mobile technology and cloud-based solutions.
This means people can work anywhere, anytime, anyway they want. Physical workplace is not necessary. Companies are developing and using software and apps that allow people to access data and one another from wherever they are. There is greater interaction and collaboration that boosts productivity, saves time, money and space.
Colossal waste of expensive space
Research has shown that employees spend less than half their time at their assigned seat which is a colossal waste of expensive space. So it makes sense to cut down on physical office space. In addition to that, office space is no longer a status symbol- it is seen as a functional requirement to conduct work.
Work spaces are being redesigned – along with small, open-plan individual workspace, group working spaces are also being organized to enable and facilitate group effort. This includes moveable partitions, glass walls, height-adjustable walls and desks, smart display screens, interchangeable acoustic screens and other tech-friendly features which offer privacy when required and promote flexibility and collaboration.
Spaces for group interactions
Spaces for group interactions could be open or closed areas in public spaces or areas near to the team’s workplace; they could be fixed or changeable, or casual arrangements outside a formal office building.
Here are some tips on creating future work spaces, based on the experiences of companies that have already achieved this. Creating flexible workspaces is a challenging task so it is best to be prepared for the problems you may encounter on your way to the new office design.
Building anything new requires money. It might be difficult to convince the accounts department or the big bosses of the business to part with money. The trick is to treat this as a financial trade-off and explain the amount saved by reducing physical space and costs on rent/acquisitions for real estate or for running operations.
New, flexible, collaborative workspaces
Secondly managers have to be “re-trained” to think in terms of the new, flexible, collaborative workspaces. They have to change their mindset and attitude and look at results and outcome of their employees’ effort, not how much time they actually spend at their assigned work station.
While a large part of the work can be done outside formal office spaces, there is still a need for colleagues to meet, sometimes meet face-to-face and work together as a team.
An important part of business is establishing and sustaining corporate image, reputation and branding. A company needs a physical property that represents this to all stakeholders. But every company has different needs, objectives, and goals. Hence flexible, workspaces have to be built basis the company and what it wants to project and do for its employees.