By Penketh Group Insights Team
23rd November 2017
With increased pressures on businesses to reduce costs and innovate more, there is a demand for the offices of the future to bring employees together to support collaboration, improve engagement and productivity.
There are now more mobile workers than ever before so to bring people back to the office, a future workplace will need to offer employees an experience and work tools they can’t access elsewhere – becoming a destination of choice for both existing employees and new talent.
Below we discuss future workplace trends that will influence the way in which people work and how it may look…
The future is creative
Work that used to be driven by processes and efficiency has become much more complex and varied. Many of today’s business problems require employees to be creative and innovative on a daily basis to solve these problems and provide a solution to benefit the business as a whole, looking at the bigger picture.
72% of workers believe their future success depends on their ability to be creative
To support this culture shift towards more creative and team-based work, an office of the future will need to offer a new range of spaces with the right tools to support the creative process. Employees from across the business; from different departments and/or levels are being brought together to work on a project or solve a specific problem, and to do this effectively they need a range of spaces to support different stages of creativity.
1) Focus areas for one or two people to get into the flow and work on a project with minimal distractions
2) Hi-tech, yet comfortable brainstorming environments that encourage active participation, giving everyone the opportunity for idea generation and sharing
3) Somewhere comfortable and private to rejuvenate and have individual thinking time to process the information and ideas discussed
44% of people feel they could be more creative at work if they had a place to work without distractions
Physical spaces and digital spaces will merge
To support a collaborative work environment, physical and digital spaces will be merged; with a wider variety of workspaces incorporating technology to support the creative process as it moves through different stages.
40% of workers come to the office for access to the tools and tech they need
With less assigned desks and more agile working, people will increasingly work from alternative spaces depending on the type of work they are doing. This may mean they need integrated power for using their laptop in a Work Café, or video conferencing to connect with remote colleagues when working on a project, or screen sharing technology within a collaborative environment.
A destination of choice
An increase in agile working in the future will reduce the need for individual and ‘assigned’ desks, providing more space to incorporate a range of alternative workspaces to support the different ways we now work (Collaborating, Focusing, Learning and Socialising).
With workers more dispersed than ever, a key role of the future workplace will be to bring employees together so they can socially connect, build relationships and identify with and be part of the culture of a company.
72% of workers say the office is the best place to interact with colleagues
A more social workplace will incorporate more informal, relaxed and comfortable co-working spaces to appeal to workers and bring them back to the office.
Design influences are increasingly crossing over from the home into the workplace, to create spaces where people feel comfortable and at ease, and therefore more likely to share thoughts and ideas freely without question or inhibition.
Feel better, work better
Employee wellbeing is likely to be near the top of the list for any future workplace designs. By considering employees emotional and cognitive needs as well as their physical, the office of the future can make people feel, think and work better.
Wellbeing can be incorporated into workplace designs by providing a variety of spaces to cater for employees needs at different times – i.e. different levels of privacy, social interaction and a range of possible postures that encourage movement (i.e. high tables and stools, low soft seating, touchdown spaces for short-term working, rejuvenation spaces etc..). We are also seeing an increase in the use of home interior design trends, with more use of natural materials and biophilic design – recognising the influence our work environment can have on the way we feel.
If a future workplace can achieve all this….why would anyone want to work anywhere else!?