Today’s employers are discovering that office design and set up are more important than they'd ever imagined, and they are spending billions of dollars to make the transformation from the offices of yesteryear to the more cutting edge "open" concept offices of today.
Today’s offices, designed to be more collaborative, allow employees to feel more connected to the organization. There’s also a trend brought on by team-based work groups that require more day-to-day flexibility in office set up, allowing employees to move around the office on a daily basis as the need arises.
There is also less visible hierarchy in today’s work environments, which offer less “me” and more “we” space. This trend suggests that the traditional office denoted by corner offices and walled cubicles may indeed be dead. Ushered in by the advent of the power of laptops, WI-FI, and the Internet, the open office concept is more appealing to millennials. Today’s office design is also meant to accommodate other changes in the work environment, such as those brought on by telecommuting and job-sharing. Spaces will include nooks for one-on-one meetings, lounges for relaxing at break or brainstorming sessions, rooms for company-wide and social gatherings, and hoteling/touchdown spots for visitors and off-site workers.
The open office environment is growing and becoming more widespread because of productivity gains seen from the collaboration generated from these spaces. Again, this trend is being spearheaded by employers’ need to accommodate younger generations who require less tethered environments, which was a big trend in their educational process.
The open office concept offers companies money-saving opportunities as well. With video conferencing and other virtual technologies, companies are not only saving money on real estate, but also travel time and expenses. Employers are creating rooms specifically for virtual communication designed to accommodate sophisticated presentations using video conferencing. That an employee can be anywhere in the world, hook up his or her laptop, and give a presentation to those at the office is very appealing, and it doesn’t disrupt the employee’s day by having him or her fly into town for the meeting.
Designing today’s workspaces is a dynamic process and involves analyzing the needs of work groups and understanding how an employer’s business plan aligns with workspace design. What hasn’t changed is a company’s need to attract and retain the best employees and today’s generation of workers places a premium on technology and collaboration. Today’s office design reflects the changes brought on by a knowledge-based workforce, and the need of employers to continue to ensure that their employees are inspired and excited about what they do and where they do it, which in turn makes for a more efficient and productive workplace.
To learn more about Cicero’s Development, visit our website at www.cicerosdev.com, or contact our founder, Sam J. Cicero at (630) 417-0927.