The Future of Office Spaces
From the title, you may believe we’re going to discuss office spaces located on the moon or Mars; however, that’s not the case. Instead, this article will cover how office spaces will develop and what they’ll include in the future.
It’s obvious that workspaces are a changing. In recent decades, we’ve seen a major switch from cubicles and the traditional office model, to more flexible office spaces. But how will these spaces develop over the next few years?
The Future of Offices Spaces
While predicting the future can be almost impossible, a couple of things are clear when it comes to office spaces:
- Flexibility isn’t an option—it’s required, whether than comes in the form clean, modern spaces or flexible contracts.
- Keeping employees comfortable, inspired, and productive is also a necessity.
These two factors will shape offices of the future in these ways:
1). Types of seating: when it comes to seating, office chairs aren’t the only choice available today. We see all kinds of seating from saddle seats to balance stools. In the future we may swings, vibrantly coloured bean bag chairs, or standing or treadmill desks that reduce the amount of time spent sitting.
In the future, seating will continue to evolve with employee health as the guiding factor. Comfort, ease of movement, ergonomically designed seating is only a few of the changes we’ll see in office seating in the next few years.
2). Sleeping places: it’s been proven by researchers that a nap during the day can be beneficial, even for employees who are on the job. At work, naps have usually been spent in the car, in the break room or even in the bathroom.
Trends in the coming years may include hammocks, sleep pods or even tree houses where employees can take a snooze and relax a bit during hectic workdays.
3). Wall of inspiration: blank walls are boring, sap energy and make for a dreary office setting. However, this can be changed by adding a wall of inspiration. This type of office décor is just starting to gain in popularity.
A wall of inspiration is a type of wall art. An inspiration wall in an office can be used for brainstorming, or they can be filled with motivational sayings, beautiful photos and more. What better way to add energy and creativity to an office!
4). Exercise in an on-site gym: we’re all more health conscious these days, and the trend is set to continue over the next decades. Traditional offices are not geared to provide exercise areas for their employees.
Future workplaces, however, will include on-site gyms, with showers, where employees can exercise. They’ll have a chance to wear off stress during the workday and become healthier and stronger overall. No more just walking to the coffee pot. In the future, employees will stay in shape right at the office.
5). Games at work: gamification is a current trend and set to grow. It’s often used in a variety of ways including to release stress and tension, teach employees new skills and more.
Gaming can also be used as a team exercise; playing together as a team carries benefits into work. Employees become more motivated and creative, while learning to function together as a team.
6). Office pets: our fur babies are valuable family members, but what about at the office? Studies have shown that having an office dog (or cat) can relieve stress, plus it’s another great way to get in some good exercise time. They also help employees to take mental breaks during the workday.
Pets at the office make everyone happier and healthier. In addition, employees are usually more positive and productive with a fur baby in the office. And did we mention that an office pet can also help employees socialise and develop better relationships with one another? What’s not to love!
7). The smart office: innovative technologies and furnishings will become popular in smart offices over the coming years. These include the use of a type of cubicle known as “booths” or “mini pods” where employees can find more privacy and be shielded from noise. These may be created with walls that move and work to reorganise office spaces.
Offices of the future will also become sustainable and green for the environment. Smart technologies that monitor air quality and temperature can also help workspaces to be healthier.
Virtual reality will become a usable technology. Here, think of conference calls on steroids. Video conferences and Skype will go the way of VR and AR displays and/or headsets. And don’t forget the virtual whiteboard, also enhanced by the incorporation of Virtual reality in the office.
In addition, the use of AI and IoT will be able to assist employees with their day-to-day tasks. Let AI schedule meetings and order lunch, for instance. That would be amazing!
8). Natural elements: office spaces in the future will provide a healthier indoor environment with the use of natural elements such as plants, untreated sustainable woods, and more. You may see bamboo walls, or even walls made completely of plants.
These natural elements work to increase both wellbeing and productivity employees, visiting business partners and clients.
9). Kitchens & refreshments: these are becoming increasingly popular in coworking and flexible office spaces. Some facilities offer a fully stocked kitchen, where it’s possible to go in and whip up breakfast with cereal, fruit, milk and more.
More offices spaces will also be devoted to supplying coffee, tea and perhaps other drinks such as beer.
10). Data-enabled collaboration: with the growing trend of working from home and flexible workspaces, the future looks set to include an agile workspace built with sensors in office equipment, fixtures and more. Wearables are also becoming more popular; when combined with sensors, we predict that data-enabled collaboration will become the norm.
When it comes right down to it, the office of the future will be all about employees’ comfort and flexibility. Everything in the office will be geared to enhance and enable collaboration, communication, and more.
Employees are one of the most valuable assets in a company, and the workplace will be purposely created and designed to ensure their wellbeing with flexibility and comfort in mind from now and on into the future.
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