We’ve been saying it for a while, and now the working environment is screaming it loud and clear. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all office. As we migrate from confined spaces to a menu of working environments, it’s no secret that the workplace standard has changed.
Unique and creative offices are no longer just for trendy companies like Google and Apple, but a requirement for most businesses today; that is if you want to attract the most talented, most sought-after Millennials. Yes, I said it. Millennials are well on their way to leading the workforce, and Generation Y is right behind them.
So what does this mean for the workplace? Because technology is constantly improving and changing, how we live and work must adapt as well.No longer are the days of type writers and narrow rows of desks. The office has changed, and now more than ever, employees are making decisions on where to work based off the office and company culture alone.
A Variety of Space
For offices to be successful with tomorrow's demands, they must be flexible today. Allowing employees to chose how they want to work is key. While some individuals enjoy working in quiet spaces, others foster creativity when collaborating with others. With that said, here are some important areas to focus in:
Because we anticipate more change, investing in high quality furniture that is flexible, easy to move and can be used across a variety of different settings is ideal. This will also help save money when the time comes to switch things up. Furniture that is designed for high traffic and can withhold the daily rigors of your business is also important.
From co-working spaces to private offices, we are seeing a fluctuation of desirable spaces for employees and businesses. Some companies are reducing their square footage and encouraging their employees to work from home or in a shared environment, and other companies, like Apple, want all their employees under one roof.
With demountable walls, such as Muraflex, you can change your walls at any time. Muraflex’s demountable walls are installed over your pre-existing floor plan and are designed to fit any workspace. The best part-- they can be easily moved and reconfigured to fit your company’s needs. If you staff up, you can switch it up.
Technology and Power Supply
It’s no secret that technology is the leading factor driving how we work. And this isn’t going to change anytime soon. So if your office lacks in this area, then you may see a few storms heading in your direction.
Making sure your office has adequate power supply is the first step. But don't forget about power supply for devices such as mobile devices. We are seeing an upward trend in smart devices and work related tasks. More and more people prefer to use their mobile phone for email and other work related functions.
Power and data supply is no longer just for conference room tables, but also lounge furniture. Pairing flexible pieces loaded with power and data options are becoming a must for today's businesses.
Let’s talk about experience. And by experience, I am not talking about how much experience an individual may have about a topic (although this is important to your business). I am talking about the overall experience your staff has while working for your company; that feeling of satisfaction and belonging.
Many companies are battling for top-talent by making the working “experience” a top priority. From catering to individuals working preference to adding unique spaces such as a sleep spa, a playroom or a gym to the office landscape are just a few amenities we will see more of in 2018.
Is the private tennis court or employee valet out of budget? Don’t worry. Smaller companies can create a unique experience too. Simply adding a snack bar or bottled water helps create a better working experience and builds your company culture. Get creative. There is no limit when it comes to creating a great experience.
We dabbled a little about workspace wellness and creating an “experience” in the section above but now let’s dive in. Workspace wellness needs to be a priority in EVERY business. Not only does research that prove that workplace wellness is worth investing in, wellness at the office will have a domino affect on your employees, their happiness, their productivity and your company’s success. Below are a few starting points:
Furniture. Starting with our favorite topic, furniture, adding ergonomics to the office should be where you begin. This is an investment, and by investing in the proper furniture for your staff, you are therefore investing in your staff and their well being. Focusing on adjustable chairs, sit-to-stand desks and adequate lighting, will put you on the road to success and a happy office.
Natural Light. Next, let’s talk lighting. Adding natural light to the office is preferred, but not every company has this luxury. If your company can’t add natural lighting, you can simply add more lighting with task lamps.
Greenery. Don’t forget to bring in a few plants to help generate fresh air. You will be amazed at what a few live plants do for your office and your employees mood.
Healthy Snacks. Healthier employees tend to be happier in both their personal and business life. Encourage your employees to become healthier by offering healthy snack, choosing healthier catering companies for luncheons, and suggesting bottled water.
Mental Breaks. Encourage mental breaks to help keep employees focused. Taking a few 15-minute breaks throughout the day will help keep your employees on track and de-stressed.
Movement. Suggest movement to your employees. Encourage sit-to-stand desks, create a walking team and go for a power walk on your lunch break or create a running team for after work hours. Again, healthier employees tend to be happier.