What does an ideal office look like? Is it made up of rows and rows of identical cubicles with little worker bees tapping away on their keyboards? Or is it a creative space with room to move, comfortable chairs and lots of natural light? Option number two sure sounds better to us. The good news is that many modern workplaces are beginning to see the light as well, shifting to office designs that make you feel good to be there.
So what does this wonderful new office of the future look like? For one thing, it’s built with the employee’s needs in mind. It used to be that a copywriter, a graphic designer and the CEO all had the same basic workspace: desk, chair, computer (the CEO’s being a bit larger and nicer, of course). In the modern office, the workspace of the copywriter might look completely different than that of the graphic designer or the CEO given their widely varying needs.
These new office spaces are also built for collaboration. Tiny cubicles and stiff conference rooms don’t do much to inspire innovation, do they? Great collaboration might happen at a conference table, but it also might happen while sitting around in easy chairs or on barstools. Office designers are now creating unique workspaces with these varied environments in mind.
Modern office spaces have more of a balance between private workspaces and open, shared spaces. Expect to see a mix of informal work spaces designed for comfort and more formal collaboration areas with open seating and versatile furniture. Privacy is valuable too, though. Offices once made up of impersonal cubicles are now offering movable walls that can provide an added layer of privacy, or glass doors that can be shut while still allowing natural light to filter through the space.
Office designers now recognize the importance of being physically closer to the people we work with most often, and the modern office design reflects this. Workers will be positioned closer to the equipment and space they need to use most. It only makes sense for an employee whose job requires collaboration to have easy access to the open workspace, right?
The modern office space has a positive impact on employee health in a number of ways. First off, feeling well directly affects productivity level. When employees feel good about the space where they work, they find a greater fulfillment in the work itself, which shows through in the quality of the product that’s produced.
Ergonomic furniture and spaces lead to more comfortable employees, cutting down on the physical strain of sitting at a rigid desk and chair all day.
Implementing more modern office design practices makes good business sense. Happy workers show up more often, taking fewer sick days than those who are unhappy or unfulfilled at their jobs. This directly saves the company money and leads to increased output in the long run.
A modern office space nurtures a supportive work environment. When employees have a choice over which space they’ll use and how they will use it, they feel a sense of independence and have more of a stake in the company’s success.
We’re excited and hopeful about the push toward more employee-friendly work environments, and can’t wait to see what new trends lie ahead for the modern office space!