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Business Trends

How Office Spaces are Evolving to Meet Changing Needs

Technology has dramatically changed the way we work in so many ways. Innovative technological solutions are coming to the fore that are transforming the design of office spaces, integrating technology with buildings in new ways and catering to the desire for employees to have more of a work/life balance. 

Integrated smart technologies

Integrated smart technologies can record energy data and can enable a building to learn from how employees behave. Analytics can inform decision-making about what improvements to make to maximize space and energy usage. 

Using movement sensors and other digital tracking products, it is possible to adapt a space to the people using it at the time. Rooms or even whole floors can turn off if they are not in use. Employees can customize their audiovisual systems and personal lighting with sensors deployed through the space and custom apps. 

Workplace flexibility

Young professionals want flexibility in their workspaces, from private spaces when they need them to open areas where they can communicate and collaborate. Organizations need to take this into consideration when designing workspaces. 

At the end of the day, they want a workspace that reflects their company culture. Using community as a design strategy will impact not only culture and wellness but the productivity of employees and being able to retain them. 

Employees often experience higher levels of stress and can concentrate less when working in the open plan floor spaces that are so popular today. This is why some businesses are installing free-standing privacy booths with soundproof walls, power outlets, a desk and ventilation. 

The small private space allows them to take phone calls, focus on a project with a deadline or host a video-conference without disrupting colleagues. The cost of installing booths is a fraction of the cost of reconstructing a whole office.

Integrating technology with buildings

In our connected society, securing voice and data communication is of utmost importance. FreeAxez is a forward-thinking company that is revolutionizing the industry with its award-winning, low profile raised floor and cable management system. 

The methodology challenges the conventional ways of integrating wires and cables into buildings. It is redefining how to manage the needs of the integrated buildings required today and tomorrow. The Gridd system enables the kind of flexibility required to meet the challenges created by evolving workplace technologies. It is easily able to adapt to changing needs, like the growth of the business, and keep costs down. 

A major focus on wellness

Many companies are increasing their health and wellness benefits due to demand from employees. This is also translating into office space design. Some offices now have meditation booths and others have nap pods where employees can take a quick, refreshing nap. 

An increasing number of offices include mother’s rooms where they can go and pump breast milk. Employees want a better work/life balance and office design that promotes wellness is likely to be a trend. When companies set such trends, others are likely to follow as they see the benefits of keeping their employees happy. 

A community aspect

People are prioritizing workspaces that provide a sense of community. Coworking spaces with membership models are not only offering spaces to work but individuals can take part in workshops, panels, networking events and other events to develop their careers. Some of these spaces are particularly accommodating to certain population groups. 

For example, some are designed to accommodate the way women work and they can attend events related to leadership, civic engagement etc. Coworking spaces are likely to become more niche over time and could start catering to specific industries or trades. 

 

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  • Interesting.  I would have thought more and more companies would be moving to a smaller company space as many people were doing their work from a home office.  And getting a lot done.   They are now familiar with a lot of the meeting tools and IMing type tools like Teams or Slack.  Those are the ones I use the most for instant communication.

    From a personal standpoint for the last 10+ years I've worked from a home office.  I used to be able to list the advantages and disadvantages.  Lately there is little to no disadvantage as almost everyone that can are working from a home office.

    When I think of a future - I tend to see the home office as being used more often.  Office space being shrunk to keep down costs.  But I have no data to back that off.   Just knowing what is going on with my own company.

    So this blog took me in another direction.  It's interesting we go from no real space of our own to back to some space of our own.  50/50 or whatever split.  I'd still rather work from my home office.  However, I do have a space in my house for a home office.  I know a lot of people struggled with that.