The advent of new technologies has led to changes in work methods, so offices have had to adapt to the new needs. Gone are the days when offices were grey places filled with paper: the focus today is on making them collaborative spaces with an inspiring design.
However, while new developments certainly bring benefits, today’s offices are also facing new challenges in several areas.
1. Multifunctional work areas
What first comes to mind when we think of the way offices used to be is a corridor filled with cubicles with an employee behind each desk. That was mostly due to the top-down hierarchies of the past.
Nowadays companies seek to improve productivity by fostering teamwork between different departments, so it’s common for them to design their offices on an open-plan basis where everything from meetings to planning and all other aspects of a project can be conducted.
2. New technologies
A modern office needs to have state of the art equipment for its staff to do their work properly. This usually means having the latest communications technology, computers, projectors and amenities on hand.
Employees of firms that take pains to be technologically up to date feel more confident than those that do not. In cut-throat business environments every detail counts, and providing leading-edge technological equipment can be a good way of holding on to your best talent.
3. Energy management and environmental awareness
The new trends in design and technology have made energy management a highly significant consideration. They may not be a decisive factor in improving work productivity, but saving energy and promoting a company’s environmental awareness is one of the greatest challenges facing the designers of twenty-first century offices.
One example is the use of solar energy in the office: it’s very much on the rise because it’s clean and sustainable, while also creating financial savings over time.
4. Human-resource policies
The most important asset in an office is its people. Having state of the art facilities really doesn’t do much good if the work team is not happy or was hired using the wrong approach. A firm’s human-resource department must bring its recruitment practices into line with present needs. This implies carrying out a study of employees’ current needs.
In the past, for example, a dream job meant making good money and the possibility of being promoted, whereas nowadays young professionals are just as interested in working somewhere where they can share and develop their ideas and see their projects come to fruition.
So rather than just offering a competitive salary and benefits, companies today must be able to offer the possibility of personal growth and talent development.
As we have seen, today’s so-called millennials have had a strong influence on changing office needs. It’s important to remember that leading companies are successful for a reason: their ability to adapt to changing circumstances and evolving workplaces.