Two major drivers are changing the ways that we work in the 21st century:
Technological advancements and the shift towards the Agile Workplace.
The Impact of Technological Growth on Space Allocation
As technology continues to evolve, organizations look to develop and deliver workspaces that are aligned with the new ways we work. Sterile cubicles and inefficiently designed offices are making way for inviting workspaces that allow for collaboration and flexibility.
As workspace design trends skew toward open-concept office layouts, more and more companies embrace the added benefits that come along with it. A concept popularized by tech start-ups, it is renowned for its unconventional approaches – from team breakout spaces to rooms designed to balance visual and acoustic privacy. However, companies also rave about the hidden value of an open-concept office layout: their teams thrive in work environments that encourage collaboration and creativity.
As the modern worker spends more time in front of a screen and under dim and excessive lighting conditions, research evidence is indicating that eye strain and visual stress problems are also trending as a workplace issue. Getting ahead of this curve and offering workers solutions for reducing eye strain can do more than keep your team clear and focused – it also helps keep an eye on your bottom line.
The modern worker cares about their workspace – key perks might include open plan designs and unconventional breakout spots, or consciously syncing it with a healthy lifestyle. They want to work for companies that care more than just staying competitive in their industry – they want to work for companies that also care about keeping their workers healthy and productive.
The workforce is changing hands, and a new generation of digital learners and workers are informing how modern offices reflect the individual identity and company culture. Workspaces that promote strong mental health can have a strategic impact on success. Happy workers equal productive workers. And productive workers thrive in environments that encourage collaboration and creativity – adding up to a positive effect on your bottom line.
Today’s learners are a sophisticated bunch – brought up on a diet of handheld technology, brand marketing, and the sleekest product design. Experience-driven, they have high expectations when it comes to the environments they inhabit. If even a part of an educator’s task is to prepare them for the world, then the classroom has to meet and reflect real-world expectations. Rows of desks, learning by rote, one-size-fits all teaching methods are a hangover from the industrial revolution.
In recent years, plenty of research has been published both proving and denying the benefits of all types of office layouts. While one study suggests that businesses tear down walls and operate in a purely collaborative environment, another discusses the issues caused by such layouts, and instead, promotes the continuation of the private office.
So what’s a company to do?
Those looking to support their employees while still mitigating operating costs may find themselves scratching their heads and wondering who’s advice to follow.
Truth be told, there’s validity to each point of view. And certainly, there’s not a single right answer. In most cases, business leaders conclude that a mixture of work environments is best. One department’s work may be more conducive to an open, group atmosphere, while another relies on the privacy and concentration that enclosed offices allow.
So, since private offices are here to stay, here are a few tips to modernize and enhance them to reflect the way people work in the 21st century: