Modern offices are constantly evolving and are now very different to how they were even ten years ago. Advances in technology, flexible working arrangements, and an acknowledgement of how the office environment can affect productivity have changed the design of the modern office.
Keeping staff happy and relaxed has become a top priority for employers, so there are lots of extra features, such as relaxation areas, that are put to use after a detailed office space analysis.
To find out more about the modern office space, we talked to one of the leading professional service specialists in London, Interactive Space, who shared with us the latest office trends and some of the most requested office solutions from their clients.
Has Space for Collaboration
Teamwork and collaboration are highly-prized in creative workplaces. However, these working styles have become an increasingly important aspect of the contemporary workplace in every kind of industry, creative or not. There has been a shift from cubicled offices to open spaces, as well as redesigning common areas and meeting rooms to be more aesthetically appealing.
The reason for this change in modern offices is predominantly to encourage collaboration at the most basic level. Even if the majority of the office is traditional, these pockets of collaboration encourage staff interaction. Multipurpose spaces like this are being utilized by employers for everything from multimedia presentations to casual breakout areas.
Bristol-based EMO & TRA are company branding agencies that were relocated to one main office, necessitating good communications and room to collaborate. This involved fitting a new spiral staircase to link the companies, booths for group work, and an open space with a blackboard that allows for brainstorming and collaborative work.
Utilises the Latest Technology
Today, offices are becoming more and more streamlined and employees work almost exclusively online. Some workplaces implement bring-your-own-device policies with the idea that by using a familiar device, employees will feel more comfortable and ultimately be more productive. Employers are becoming increasingly willing to invest in technology and the training that it entails so that workers can effectively connect, contribute and collaborate.
True tech-savvy companies use smart technology, advanced conferencing facilities and online professional development tools. This also means that the modern office is paperless and clutter-free, and this tidy approach is aided by concealing wires and sockets.
Verisk Analytics installed a comprehensive Audio Visual system including interactive screens with full laptop connectivity. A Video Conferencing solution was also installed in meeting rooms, which were fitted with a room booking system to allow for a simple and efficient procedure to managing meetings. Their Training Room provided an interactive whiteboard and repeater screens to cater for the larger open planned teaching area.
The modern office brings the outdoors inside. There has been a lot of research that has found the psychological benefits of having some natural touches like plenty of sunlight and plants in the office. Interior designers are getting creative with this concept and installing wood panels incorporating natural flora patterns in fabrics and artwork and using water features.
Helix Property provides property management services across the UK and decided to set a good example to clients by filling their reception area and atrium with live planters, including in the back of seating. The modifications included the installation of a moss wall. It was the perfect blend of nature and technology since the bespoke new reception desk also included wireless charging points.
Reflects the Company’s Brand
Reflecting a corporate brand has gone beyond just using the same colours and logos in the office decor. Offices are now showpieces for the company’s culture and you can learn a lot by the decor. For example, the recent trend toward open workspaces emphasises a company’s interest in collaboration and communication. Cutting-edge art installations represent a progressive company, while plenty of glass walls reflect a transparent culture.
However, it’s even better when companies can make art or decor specific to their brand and achievements. Angel Trains is a wonderful example of this. When the company relocated to 123 Victoria Street, London, they chose to have an open reception area that connects to the meeting suites and hospitality area. An American black walnut curved paneled wall was installed with pigeonholes displaying models of the train carriages built by Angel Trains.
Likewise, the advertising group Dentsu wanted a workspace that supported their mission statement – “making future magic.” Their whole building (inside and out) now reflects this ethos with futuristic curves that bounce light throughout the day.
Incorporates Relaxation Areas for Staff
For the younger generation of workers, work is often seen as something that can be done anywhere at any time. By creating a fun breakout space that is unique to the rest of the workplace, you can invest in this philosophy and encourage dynamic thinking.
It also raises staff morale and activity by implementing “fun” features, such as a pool table or table tennis. Some places install small gym rooms that employees can use during lunch breaks or before work; by promoting their wellbeing in this way, staff feel valued by the company.
The communication group EDC have incorporated plenty of unconventional office areas that contribute to their overall quirky chic feel, including Bohemian style leather sofas and meeting areas that resemble picnic tables on an inside patch of grass.
They also have an area next to the main open-plan workspace that has a guitar, books and table football. Everything about the office space seems aimed to inspire creativity.