The global pandemic has changed a lot of aspects of the way that we live. One thing that has not gone untouched is the way that we work! After two years of working from home, hybrid working and safety measures in place, one thing is for sure – the office of the past is no more.
Inc. Publications detailed in their recent newsletter what they believe the office of the future will look like (and more importantly, sound like) which got us thinking of our predictions for the way offices will be laid out in 20 years time.
The Importance of Acoustics
One of the main points made in Inc.’s newsletter is that immersive sound is proven to aid productivity in the workplace. This idea of ‘immersive sound’ is not altogether groundbreaking but if we enhance this with the latest in modern acoustic treatment, we can create an office space which is a hive of creativity and focus.
These Fluffo panels are designed to soften sound, whether it be humans talking or radio playing. To ensure that productivity isn’t compromised, the importance of acoustics in creating a lovely bubble of focus cannot be overstated.
It is safe to assume that the office of the future will not have the same issues of disturbing chatter and phone ringtones which exist today!
Privacy vs. Collaboration
Whether you like to work alone, or feel your most productive working as part of a team, open plan offices can present issues. A 2018 Harvard Study showed that open plan offices are prone to reducing collaboration among employees while the lack of privacy can prove to be a distraction for some.
Having designated areas for employees to meet and brainstorm is a vital part of a creative workplace. Meeting pods can be very helpful at minimising distractions for other employees who are focusing on their own tasks. Furthermore, private phone booths for workers to turn to are a useful way of creating privacy in an open plan office space.
Home Comforts are Key!
It is no secret that some people have enjoyed working from home these past two years and those people may not be overly looking forward to returning to their office. It is important to listen to these employees and read between the lines on what they have found so pleasant about the home office. My guess: home comforts!
To ensure that the office of the future is equipped to compete with the home office, it is likely that workplaces will need to invest in privacy sections, natural lighting as well as soft seating galore. Modular sofas and pouffes are a nifty way to create nominal sections for comfort and privacy for those that may need additional space for creativity and focus. The familiar feeling of home is sure to foster a level of relaxation and calm that will keep employees happy.
40 Shades of Green
We have discussed the benefits of a green space office previously in our March 2019 blog but it seems to be a trend that is here to stay! In an uncertain future where going green will not be just declaring yourself sustainable, the need to showcase your environmentalism will also be essential.
It goes without saying that it is so important to reduce your carbon footprint through reducing the office’s energy consumption, plastic production and waste but there can also be smaller steps which make a huge psychological impact.
One way of making your office more environmentally friendly is to increase the presence of trees and plants in the office to increase production of oxygen. An extra bonus is that plants are proven to improve mood amongst employees!
A priority on wellness and employee happiness is key for a flourishing business so consider including green walls and panels as well to promote this mission.