WHAT WILL THE OFFICE OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
Trying to imagine what tomorrow's office will be like is no easy task. Continous technological developments are bringing about swift changes that make it difficult to predict what will happen next. Nevertheless, significant advances that are already under way are making the way employees relate to their workplace increasingly smoother.
This paradigm shift boils down to isolation vs well-being
In the 1960s a major innovate step took place with the advent of bussines parks that featured office cubicles to give privacy to employees, but that approach is now viewed by some as obsolete. During the 90s, corporations took on the challenge of designing better work sapces. Today the emphasis is on creatig pleasant, comfortable workplaces, with services designed specifically to improve well-being in the work environment.
But by that we don't just mean architecture in general, although that's also a positive factor, as evidenced by Apple's new corporate headquarters, a round complex reminscent of an iPod dial. Another god example of innovation designed to create quality offices and work environments is the aproach taken by Amazon to design spaces as if they were a home, to make their employees feel as if they were indeed working at home.
Facebook and Google's headquarters were also conceived for the future and are recognised worldwide for the flexibility they offer their work teams in moving arround their work spaces, working at their own pace and engaging in a constant exchange of ideas with both their own and others departments. LinkedIn is also following this trend; it has set up a "silent disco" in its new San Francisco headquarters, for employees to spend some time dancing to the beats coming out of their Smartphones earplugs.
What's the logic behind these changes?
Several reasons come to mind. One of the most important, particularly for large technology-oriented corporations such as those we mentioned, is that competitions is stiff so they need to attract top talnet to make up their work teams.
Leaders of innovative businesses are also focusing on how workspaces affect the well.being of their employees. the new trends in this field are to buil large, comfortable spaces designed for people to share with others, engage in brainstorming sessions and work in tandem with other departments, in contrast with cubicles taht only serve to close employees off from each other.
Libraries for public use, cafeterias, outdoor spaces, and physical fitness facilities all point to the idea that the "new thing" in forward-looking business centers is to work in various settings tather than just in an office. This encourages conversation and colaboration while giving impetus to creativity.
These new approaches to creating quality work environments go to show how the approach to "work" is evolving. The thinking behind these new trends is that today's employees wil work better in such settings, since they tap into the dynamics and environments of universities, thereby boosting work performance and corporate productivity.
Community and creativity as means of enhancing productivity
The future is now, and some companies are well aware of it. The incorporation and use of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things in the workplace is already a reality in some businesses; it gives grater control over employee activities, while also providing their workers with maximum comfort.
"Companies are considering how you cultivate community in a context that gives people connections to one another and you se the desing of space following suit," says Georgia Collins for the Entrepeneur website; she specialises in workplace strategy in the San Francisco office of the commercial real-estate company CBRE.
In addition to fostering conversation, co-operation and creativity between employees, quality offices constantly remind thme that they've not just chosen a workplace, but a lifestyle. business centers therefore increasingly to create the feeling of "being at home".
This encourages people to be happy and satisfied with their workstations thus reducing the chances of their looking for another job that will offer them greater weel-being. In the final analysis that's what we're all looking for: regardless of our profession or position. Working in an excellent office is of crucial importance.