The office landscape is undergoing a seismic shift. Many factors are inexorably driving major changes in the way offices are designed. These include technology advances, increasing globalisation, changing workplace demographics, and more.
Todays’ workplace is already radically different from that of, say, ten years ago. Technology plays a large part in this, influencing layout and ultimately, the whole company culture. It’s a symbiotic dynamic that continues to evolve into a whole new work style:
The corporate world has shifted from tiered layouts to more democratic open-plan environments, with the emphasis on collaboration and teamwork. Not only is it more cost-effective to break down barriers, literally and metaphorically, it encourages multi-tasking and team spirit, the natural domain of digital natives brought up with technology from birth.
However, it is still necessary to have private spaces for meetings and confidential discussions, so it really is a case of blending the best of both old and new working worlds.
The incredible shrinking desk! Yes, desk sizes are reflecting democracy too. Out with managerial expanse and individual work stations and in with smaller desks and ‘work settings’, a free-flowing environment with people flexing between settings to support the work at hand.
This trend has been driven by a combination of factors:
Collaboration is todays’ workplace buzzword as it nurtures productivity, creativity and innovation. It creates an exponential hotbed of ideas, with today’s millennial workers sharing and using information, connecting with colleagues and company. This fostering of an inclusive environment and sincere relationships pays significant dividends in people’s professional and personal lives. Knowing their input is valued automatically encourages output – a self-sustaining win-win relationship.
Some of the major changes and design trends in workplace operation:
The NOW work setting is informal and open plan to promote flexible, collaborative knowledge-sharing and social interaction, with quiet areas providing the headspace needed for concentration.