From contract-specific tradeshows like NeoCon to lifestyle-focused exhibitions like Maison et Objet there’s a growing focus on the workplace in all sectors of the design industry. And it’s no wonder why: today’s employees have higher expectations than ever of the environments their organizations provide.
These expectations – that workplaces be inspiring, that workplaces promote wellbeing, and that workplaces provide seamless access to technology – have proven to be crucial to employee satisfaction and retention.
So, while beer on tap and ping-pong tables in the office may be passing fads, these are the considerations will shape the offices of the future. Because the workplace isn’t just the place where work gets done- it’s the place that enables us to reach our full potential.
Read on to learn how to create workplaces that will stand the test of time.
Research shows that an uninspiring workplace can actively inhibit innovation. Visually stimulating environments promote creativity and comfortable, attractive settings can provide positive influence for difficult tasks. By taking cues from the residential spaces people choose in their off-hours, and re-imagining what workplaces should look like – and if they “should” look like anything – organizations can offer settings tailored to the unique needs and preferences of their employees.
But beauty isn’t the only factor that makes a workplace engaging. As the work we do becomes more and more collaborative, aesthetic considerations must also facilitate teamwork, often among diverse workforces and varied specializations. Use custom color capabilities to visually integrate brand culture and encourage connection, or offer a Focus Nook for access to privacy in open floor plans. No two companies are quite the same, so there’s no reason for every office to look exactly alike.
Business and technology have become inseparable. From cell phones, tablets, and laptops for personal use to conference screens and shared electronics, access to power and data are crucial for completing work efficiently and minimizing employee stress. How many meetings have been stalled by lagging WiFi or drained batteries?
Integrating technology into workplace solutions is crucial to the feeling that employees are truly supported by their environment. In addition to ease of use, smart management of cords and power sources contributes to a beautiful environment by minimizing the clutter that creates a sense of chaos in even the most attractive settings. Try offering tabletop access to power and data via the collaboration and conference tables, or facilitate tech-friendly communication in any corner of the office with Exponents Whiteboard and Mobile Display.
Allow brilliant minds to focus on the problems that really need solving – not on finding the nearest plug in the middle of a brainstorm session.
Standing desks and taking the stairs are great ways to stay physically active in the workplace, but holistic wellbeing requires consideration of peoples’ emotional and mental health, too. And, as more and more experts cite “burnout” as a primary concern for modern workers, organizations must begin to design spaces that promote resiliency and prevent chronic stress.
Incorporating Biophilia, our natural affinity for plants, is a highly effective way to improve mood, and big-impact designs like Sagegreenlife Living Walls make nature an integral part of the workplace. Consider, too, that although some work best in a traditional task chair, others do their best thinking in motion – such as in a Montara650 Rocker. Offering a range of seating styles allows for every individual to find the posture that’s just right for them.
Of course, it’s also important to look back at office design trends over the years to examine which floorplans and furniture styles have contributed to our sense of wellbeing over time.
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