New Office Trends: A Look at Innovative Offices
Have you ever arrived early for a job interview and surveyed your surroundings?
Maybe you noticed the coffee mug rings on archaic desks and the 80s-vintage art, suggesting what the daily routine might be like. As you fidgeted in your uncomfortable, threadbare chair, you probably weighed your options.
Be polite and go through with the interview—or bolt before you get stuck in the dreary, coffee-stained grind?
On the other hand, perhaps you've interviewed in a workspace where the light, bright surfaces had you anticipating a spa service following your meeting. While active employees engaged with each other, you sat up a little straighter, determined to secure your spot in this collaborative hub of inspirational activity.
Why make an effort to stay on trend?
Consider your own office.
What impression are you giving the kind of talent you'd like to attract? And more importantly, what message does your office environment send to your current employees? If you were interviewing at your office, would you want to take off or make yourself at home?
It's no longer a luxury to offer your employees an up-to-date work environment that caters to their well-being. It's essential business currency.
Let us introduce you to the latest office trends and fill you in on a couple of cost-saving ways to make your workspace a place where your employees (and potential employees) feel supported, comfortable and inspired to do their best work.
And the latest trends in innovative offices are…
1. Desks designed to fit individual needs
The way we work has changed and so has office furniture. Today's employee may telecommute, work remotely, or hold predominantly collaborative meetings to accomplish company goals.
Shared desks or couches with pull up desks suit the needs of employees who aren't in the office full time. Desks with built-in, easy to access charging stations make stopping in the office to work for a few hours more convenient.
And because healthy employees are likely to be more motivated, and therefore more productive, standing desks, treadmill desks, and desks with adjustable heights are becoming common in employee-focused workspaces.
2. Bringing the outside in
The average workday involves spending eight or more hours inside. As such, incorporating natural elements into the office is a trend that's likely to stick around.
Science supports the claim that "office landscaping" makes employees more productive, and green changes are happening on both grand and small scales in offices worldwide.
For example, Google's office in Tel Aviv, Israel boasts an indoor orange grove that doubles as a collaborative workspace, making employees feel as if they're conducting business on park benches.
On a more modest scale, incorporating an edible living wall into your office space not only helps with air purity but can provide lunchtime greens for your employees.
As a bonus, NASA reports that live plants—like Boston ferns, Kimberley Queens and palm trees—can significantly improve air quality.
3. Collaborative furniture
A collaborative workspace needs furniture that supports comfortable interaction among employees. Examples include:
- A half moon shaped sofa suited for a small group
- A longer, communal table where part-time or remote workers can contribute to and enjoy your office culture
- Meeting nooks with cushioned, acoustic benches that enhance communication
Collaborative furniture encourages employees to step away from the formal conference table, and instead hold relaxed meetings in a more intimate environment.
4. Wellness-focused spaces
While some companies offer gym memberships, innovative offices are making room for wellness-focused initiatives throughout their offices.
Wellness-focused spaces aren't limited to a designated area for yoga mats or juice bars in your cafeterias.
Employers who prioritize health and happiness look at the entire course of their employees' work day and incorporate areas for both collaboration and privacy into office design.
As open offices have grown in popularity, employers who are focused on their employees' wellness acknowledge that while one employee may thrive in a meeting at a collaborative table, another may need a quiet workspace set apart from the crowd to do his or her best work. Innovative office design accommodates these preferences.
Airflow, lighting, and cleanliness are also important factors to consider when designing a wellness-focused workspace. Proper ventilation and temperature regulation show a commitment to employee comfort. Natural light and dust/dirt/toxin-free surfaces are also characteristic of wellness-focused office design.
5. Integrated technology
The best employees expect that their workspaces will incorporate the latest technology. While the specifics obviously vary by industry, the core message is simple: Your office needs to not only work with today's technology, but also be flexible enough to incorporate change.
For example, with wireless charging of devices on the horizon, built in power adapters and multimedia capabilities will become attractive features to tech savvy employees and potential employees.
Office furniture that is designed to accommodate several devices at once will give employees the flexibility to access their work from any device that supports their workflow. If they need to use two devices at once, they can do so at various integrated workspaces throughout the office. No need to go hunting for an additional jack or outlet.
6. Repurposed file rooms
More and more offices are shifting their physical paper files to cloud-based computing options. Spaces once reserved for filing, printing, copying, and storage are opening up for uses more fitting for the modern workplace.
Innovative office managers and small business owners put this "found space" to good use by converting it into an area focused on the health and happiness of their employees.
Turning a former file room into a meditation space or comfy conference area improves office culture by demonstrating a commitment to employees' health or comfortable collaboration.
Willing to think even more creatively? Take LinkedIn's lead and give your employees the opportunity to make music where they once made copies.
Update your workspace without breaking the bank.
If the thought of constantly updating your space to stay on trend has you escaping to the meditation room, take a deep breath.
Flexible layouts and future-proof design are two strategies for updating your workspace without going for broke.
When planning your office layout, develop areas that can be easily adapted to the changing needs of your office and future trends. In other words, permanent walls are difficult to move, modular acoustic panels and architectural walls not so much.
The Skullcandy office in Zurich, Switzerland, is a good example of an office that uses future-proof design. Skullcandy employees use desks that can be reconfigured for independent or collaborative work, as they fit together like puzzle pieces. The design is future-proof in the sense that when trends change, Skullcandy's office furniture can easily be adapted. No need to pay for an office makeover.
And in terms of modern office design, Skullcandy's flexible layout and design is right on trend with the current workplace values of mobility, flexibility, and collaboration.
Ready to bring your office into the modern era?
Updating your office space is important. Keeping up with the times not only attracts skilled workers but builds morale among current employees. We can help you put an innovative plan in place. Give us a call at 877-779-3409 or contact us through our online form.
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