We have talked a lot on our blog about co-working spaces as an alternative to the traditional office and how the co-working space is changing the work environment. Traditional offices are also going through a metamorphosis and are no longer a sea of workstations depicted in shows like “Office Space.” Today’s office is seen as more of an integration of layered neighborhoods serving different functions. That’s because today we can offer a host of new spaces that better fit the way we live and work in today’s office environment. It’s helpful to start with an appreciation of what is powering the changes to the traditional office design. The most significant driving factor is mobile technology.
While laptops were once a luxury item with limited computing power compared to the desktop counterparts of their day, we all know that today’s mobility has matured. Between laptops and tablets, mobility is both affordable and fully functional, offering more power than most professionals need for just emailing, documenting, sharing and accessing the web. In addition to traditional workplace strategies, today’s portable devices create additional design opportunities to enhance a space that wasn’t possible in the past.
Some of these spaces include small “huddle” rooms for two or three staff to gather and produce work together around a shared monitor. These flexible spaces allow for both privacy and acoustic isolation away from more public workstations. Similarly, soft-seating conference areas can support work with clients who are dealing with sensitive information or are in need of a more nurturing space to interact, while positioning them near an easily accessed screen. Also, coffee shop-style spaces and high-top collaboration tables all enable different types of individual and team-oriented work to occur.
When these spaces fit the company culture and are correctly built, they can lead to increased staff comfort and team focus. At the same time, they can also encourage heads down, focused productivity. This new modern office concept can help staff feel invigorated, well supported and more vibrant. They can provide more acoustic privacy and concentration where it’s essential. Teams can also feel free to be dynamic and loud without distracting others.
It seems like mobile technology is changing both the traditional office design as well as creating the new remote worker.