Working in an office has changed significantly over the last 20 years and is almost unrecognisable. So what will the office look like in another 20 years? There are plenty of innovative ideas and designs out there right now so let’s take a look at what we might be able to expect for our future generations of white collar workers.
There is a great deal of focus on the welfare of workers and the knowledge that productivity rises when we feel relaxed, valued and sociable. Adding greenery and natural light are 2 ideas that are believed to decrease stress and help to aid creative thinking. The idea behind this is that if workers are surrounded by a natural environment, it will produce a higher level of feelings of well-being.
In the future, office workers may be relying on virtual reality a lot more. Designers can experience models of their designs and there is the opportunity to visit environments and walk around, adjusting space size, look and lighting aspects. They could even test out all different kinds of Laminate Wood Flooring options for the office in the VR world, choosing the colour, size and quality. Once they have done this in VR then do it for real on sites like https://irwintiles.ie/ VR also has a place in training, in which real life scenarios can be practiced in the comfort of a mock up reality. VR could become management’s new best friend, as you can imagine an immersive environment where employees receive no distraction.
Paperless workplaces have been on the agenda for quite a while now and while it hasn’t been achieved just yet, it is still a goal many are aiming for. Many feel that paperwork anchors you to a desk and prefer the theory of an agile workforce, untethered, and so some are experimenting with not supplying desks and giving employees only one storage drawer.
The office of the future will have to be flexible and adaptive space. Some prefer traditional working practices with a desk and others prefer hot-desking, sitting on giant balls and using an elevated standing desk. Maybe the solution will be to have different zones with one area reserved for ‘retro’ working.
An office in the traditional sense may cease to exist altogether. With the advent of the digital era, we can now work anywhere that has an internet connection. As the typical 9-5 doesn’t suit everyone, then work can become a 24-7 enterprise. Biologists have revealed that 9-5 is out of sync with human’s natural biology and body clock, so if we want improved health and well-being, maybe we need to be more flexible with our working patterns in the future.
Collaborative working and space-sharing may also be ideas that become more commonplace for the next generation. Digital operations mean we can now work across time zones, borders and cultures and sharing business via email, telephone, video conferencing and social media will become more of a reality and help break down communication borders. Companies are also developing the idea of sharing office space with other like-minded businesses. With a similar working ethos, businesses can share rent and collaborate, opening up creativity and sharing ideas.