How the evolution of the workforce has changed office design

Breakout Area

In order to meet the ever changing and evolving needs of the modern workforce offices have changed a lot in the past 20 years.

With more employees able to work remotely, technology has driven change in the workplace to bring about a more open environment that is less regimented. Superfast wireless internet has really opened up the office allowing practices such as hot-desking and a more creative and collaborative office environment.

Office layout
Perhaps the biggest change over recent years has been the layout of offices. Traditional cubicle style workstations and divided offices have gradually been replaced with a much more open layout. And while most offices still have banks of desks offices are no longer being partitioned off in favour of keeping the layout open plan for easier communication between staff.

According to a study carried out by Dell and Intel a massive 53% of offices now feature open office layouts and 25% are fully open with no or little barriers between employees. Another emerging trend in office layout is that more and more businesses are combining traditional office spaces with more open collaborative areas.

Remote workers
With technology such as tablet computers, laptops, superfast wireless internet and smartphones it’s never been easier for the workforce to work remotely. Yet despite this trend the office still remains the primary place of work. And while employees may work from home, cafes or co-working environments there is still a need for offices to provide a collaborative working environment.

If you have a lot of remote workers who need space in the office as well as working remotely then you may want to create a desk sharing or hot desking work space. For this to work properly the office needs to create a clear desk policy, have a good telephony system and have flexible IT solutions to support portable devices.

Breakout zones
Increasingly companies are looking at ways to improve the moral and productivity of staff within the office environment. One way that this is being done is with the introduction of breakout areas in the office that cover everything from the staff kitchen and tea stations to quiet corners for reading and coffee shop style zones for more relaxed working. Keeping staff morale high not only helps staff feel valued, it also helps them be more motivated and more productive.

As one of the key drivers behind change technology will keep evolving and continue to transform the workforce. An increasing number of companies globally are allowing employees to bring their own device and we expect this trend to continue. And while more people are likely to be working remotely there will continue to be a demand for well-designed office space that can meet the ever changing needs of the office workforce.

Office design and layout has come a long way in the past 20 years and we’re excited to see where technologies such as the ‘internet of things’ and automation will take the humble office in the next 20.

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