The concept of office space is rapidly evolving. Desk-bound from 9 to 5 is passé, and the formality and suffocating hierarchic structure of the traditional work environment is gradually disappearing.
The offices of the future are already here. They are snug, comfortable environments designed to promote happy, healthy and productive employees… or, in their modern iteration, employed entrepreneurs.
Let’s take a look at key trends that are shaping the offices of the future, right now.
In the new work environment, very little activity takes place behind closed doors. Individual offices have made way for open plan work areas.
Cosy little niches with large, comfortable couches, padded walls and thick, lustrous carpets are think tanks and informal meeting areas.
The design and layout of the modern office is aimed at promoting greater collaboration and discussion. Technology is the enabler of remote sharing; the work space is the physical extension.
Ideas, conversations and negotiations, started on digital platforms, are continued in these calm, informal spaces.
An agile workforce
Employees are no longer bound by time or space. More and more people are working remotely, and putting in the required face-to-face time at the office outside normal working hours.
Technology is enabling an agile work force. The spin-off is less expansive work premises and lower overheads.
Shared offices and coworking spaces are fulfilling all the requirements of a new generation of entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners. They are low-cost solutions that provide the creative, shared collaboration that is driving the way we do business in the 21st century.
The cost of technology, equipment and business services is pared down appreciably. And there are even providers of serviced, furnished and equipped shared office and coworking spaces that charge according to the pay-as-you go model.
Hot-desks, snugs and meeting pods
The unimaginative and often uncomfortable office furniture of the “noughties” is disappearing altogether. Conventional, individually allocated, desk-and-chair workstations are being replaced by hot-desks.
These are shared facilities any employee can use to do specific tasks. Hammocks, large bouncy balls, standing desks with custom footrests, and even sleep pods are the furniture of choice of working millennials.
In the contemporary office, workers have access to quiet, padded and enclosed spaces, called snugs. Snugs are ideation incubators that promote a dash of privacy in what is largely an open plan ecosystem.
Meetings take place in cosy, intimate meeting pods, rather than vast and utilitarian meeting rooms and stuffy boardrooms.
Virtual reality and 3D printing
Virtual Reality (VR) headsets support an immersive, yet distraction-free work experience. VR apps with voice-enabled group functionality transform remote meetings into visual, information-sharing encounters, in real-time.
Businesses can showcase designs and even homes and commercial offices to clients, using virtual reality. Consumers no longer have to visit offices, or even retail stores, to find the products and services they want.
Similarly, 3D printing is the hot office trend. Engineering and design prototypes, architectural models, and parts and accessories are now printed out in 3D in a range of materials.
Business activities are fast, efficient and available on-demand.
The office of the future is lush, green and filled with natural light. Plants, vertical gardens, living walls, and large sliding windows are integrated into the design.
Office space spills out onto roof terrace gardens and sun-kissed patios. Cafeterias feature live garden themes.
Employees are encouraged to work outdoors, and businesses are structuring technology and equipment in support of an organic move linked to a happier and more productive work team.
At The Workspace, we offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking, and all our clients have access to meeting rooms, boardrooms and a range of business services. For more information or to book a tour of one of our branches, call us on 0861 250 259 or contact us online.