The latest office trends
Office – Workplace February 2019
If your office premises could do with a revamp and an organisational refresh in 2019, there are several trends emerging to improve functionality, better cater to the workforce and reinforce corporate messages to both staff and clients.
Technology is increasingly being used to direct clients and visitors to where they need to go and for scheduling purposes.
Virtual receptionists are taking over the phone lines, online appointment scheduling software takes care of the diary and savvy visitor management systems replace the meet-and-greet functions of a receptionist.
In a world where operational cost analysis is being carried out across all facets of business, a dedicated reception area could be seen as a poor use of expensive real estate and the salary could be better used in another area of the operation.
How does your workplace reflect your company’s brand or business culture?
At Field Nation’s new offices in Minneapolis, a network of bright orange conduit piping running electricity to light fixtures was designed to reflect the company’s business model and mirror its corporate colours. Field Nation is an online marketplace that connects IT service providers with clients and this theme of connectivity has been carried through to the interior design of its head office.
Businesses are thinking laterally and going beyond merely displaying their company logo on the walls of their offices.
More agile space:
The square meterage “footprint” of work space allotted to individual staff members is being reduced in many offices in response to increased rents, rising business costs, more nomadic work practices and different ways of doing business.
Flexible furniture configurations, movable partitions, mobile green “walls” of plants, adaptive technology cabling and new devices and screens enable office environments to morph to suit changing work patterns.
Communal spaces are being creatively designed and traditional lobbies are giving way to more social areas.
Sound of silence:
A change in office spatial dynamics can necessitate a need for sound-dampening mechanisms and quiet break out spaces for more discreet conversations.
Noise-cancelling headphones can be worn, acoustic foam, felt, drapery and carpets can absorb some of the sneaky sound culprits, while white noise machines can mask other pesky sounds.
Creating dedicated spaces to isolate noisy equipment or office machinery can also go a long way to minimising disruption – but the verdict seems to be that ambient noise is the biggest downside of more agile work places.
And as for the colleague that crunches apples loudly…?
Improvements in air quality, natural light and furniture design are going hand-in-hand with a culture of corporate health.
Encouraging movement, providing healthy office snacks, having team exercise incentives, allowing pets in the office, introducing reduced work hours and even practicing daily gratitude – could have far-reaching benefits for your work team.
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