As times shift and trends change, many companies are thinking about how they can start future-proofing the office. Their reasons for doing so aren’t just to do with making it look hip and shiny, although that is a sly little bonus. It’s also about adapting to the different ways that work has changed; we need our office environment to support these changes. This includes enhancing sustainability, making accessibility enhancements, and providing more collaborative work settings, to name only a few. This results in a slick, productive environment where your staff thrives.
As employers, future-proofing might seem overwhelming. While yes, the process is likely to have multiple components and various options for each to take on board, the endeavor can be broken down into a small number of areas. In this article, we cover them, so you don’t have to worry.
Future-proofing means modernizing the office, which is a bigger and more immediate objective for older offices, which may need long overdue TLC. This creates the first question; what is a modern office concept?
You know this already just from reading these two words; modernized office. The image that’s in your head there – that’s exactly right. But it’s not all about shiny technology, it’s also about employee well-being, inclusive and adaptable design, and settings that facilitate collaboration.
Before configuring how to make an old office look modern, as well as up its functionality and alignment, the first step is to take a detailed look at the space around you and make some solid notes about the changes that you can make/want to make. Once you have a good idea of the possibilities, be it for furniture, technology, or lighting, conduct your research and find out what’s on the market.
Think about kitchen space use, office space in general, and even the art of balancing private and collaborative areas. The latter takes some planning, but how you blend and divide the group areas from the individual workspaces is what will reconfigure the office space to current needs.
It may seem trivial, but modernized furniture can spruce the place up. Not to mention, those chairs can be very comfortable. For collaboration areas, use single-seaters and couches. For desks, bring in some ergonomic furniture. These choices can actually support employee well-being. For example, a collaborative sitting area is comfortable, but it also encourages employees to bond and work together, which is good for individual and staff morale. There are myriad objects like partitions, blinds, and filing cabinets (if you still use paper) that can also be modernized as well.
What technology you need is purpose-dependent. For technical professions, having the latest tech might be vital. For everybody else, think about what suits your needs. And don’t forget about the potential software upgrades too. A future-proofed office isn’t just about how it looks, but how it runs, and software is a big part of this, whether through a communication medium or a filing database.
The fast-paced world that we live in needs conveniences to streamline productivity to its fullest. One of the most obvious areas is food. Often, we get so busy on our working days that we forget to prioritize a hearty meal. Ordering with a workplace meal program is a time- and cost-efficient method that is replacing the need for in-office cafeterias and traditional buffet-style catering. It also creates every day or weekly time to gather, relax, and share some sweet office gossip (kidding, just kidding!).
Platforms like Ritual for Companies mean that we don’t have to always resort to fast food – though it provides this as well if that’s your fancy. It provides easy access to hundreds of local restaurants, which enables employees to choose what they want to eat. This also includes healthier options that are fully customizable.
It's important to take fledging work habits into account too. Since the pandemic, there has been a shift towards remote and hybrid working. People still come into the office – it's a preference for many people. But sometimes people attend the office for different reasons than before, such as larger meetings and face-to-face collaboration, which is famously easier than virtual collaboration, and arguably more productive altogether.
Due to this, we need to provide more collaborative areas or multipurpose spaces in our offices. The key element is identifying the arising demands and then addressing them in your office space.
One more point in terms of remote working, and that’s hoteling. This is when desks are available for any employee to use when they’re in the office, removing the need for assigned seating. In this case, people coming into the office irregularly still have a desk where they can work comfortably.
There are many ways that companies can use modern office space design ideas to hurtle their business into the uncharted era. Much of it depends on the size and shape of your space, but even the smallest office can be incrementally altered to align with current and developing preferences and support your team for years to come.