Here at Officescape, we’re always looking to the future; whether it’s what offices of the future are going to incorporate or how standard furniture is going to adapt design wise to the constantly changing working environment.

However, we often like to wonder if the offices of the future are really going to be much different to what we have in place now; after all, has the office really changed that much over the past decade?

We recently came across an article on the web which really caught our attention. Entitled “The Future of Work: How office design is changing”, it looked at how employees of the next generation are starting to change their attitudes regarding the workplace.

As industry leaders in office design in London, we decided to add our voice into this debate!


Different Generations Need Different Features

The article commented that “As millennials and younger workers enter the workforce straight from college, more workers are demanding different work environments that allow and encourage the flexibility and movability that they had during university.”

We can definitely agree with this. Each new generation appears to stay younger for longer, so it’s understandable that they are looking for a working environment that mimics that of the establishment that they have recently graduated from – after all, this is what they have been used to for the past three or four years of their lives.

We also recognise that their outlook is much younger, too, especially with regards to how they view the working environment and the work that they are undertaking. Millennials – and presumably future generations of employees – will always be looking to improve the way that they work, it just seems to be the trend that we have picked up on.


Is Health and Wellbeing Really Important?

The article also comments on the importance of health and wellbeing and how employees – of all ages this time – are seeking office environments which encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle and good mental wellbeing.

While we recognise the need for the promotion of positive health and wellbeing in the workplace, we also understand that each working environment will require different ways to tackle the issue. It’s all well and good talking about the importance and installing office features which promote these things, but are they really what your staff want or even need?

Health and wellbeing can be improved through the use of to lighting, layout, mixed areas, sit stand, food areas, break out areas, air quality and sound levels – not just simply providing gym access which many older businesses believe is sufficient enough.


What Defines the Office of the Future?

So, what do we think the office of the future is going to consist of? Do we agree that a flexible workplace that mimics the university way of working is what the future of the office environment will consist of?

The article comments that in order to be successful with the future generations, offices need to incorporate the following:

  • Engagement with other people
  • Places to break out and relax
  • Places to collaborate as well as places to focus

We do ultimately agree that offices need to incorporate some form of flexibility; after all, not everyone works well in the same environment. However, we do believe that each business should be looked at individually and the future office spaces for these companies will be determined by the wants, needs and desires of the staff who will work there in the future.

This will require input from the staff who are working there, meaning that both management and Officescape will need to include – and more importantly pay attention to – these needs, wants and desires in order to keep the staff who are working there happy and attract the right staff when the time comes to recruit. It’s far more cost effective for a company to retain staff than it is to constantly hire and train new staff only to find that they staff aren’t suited to a certain environment.

It is often the trend that office design budgets are pared back to the bare minimum – whether this is to reduce costs or ultimately keep the office design simple – and this can more often than not alienate the modern workforce by failing to satisfy these needs that they are expecting, such as the sit stand desks, bright, motivating workplaces and good quality, comfy furniture.

In our opinion, a workplace doesn’t need to be covered in swings and slides in order to be successful with the future generations of office workers! Make the design mood lightening, and it’s sure to be a hit with your employees, no matter what age they are!

If you’d like to take advantage of our expertise as office design professionals, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today – we’d be more than happy to help you in any way we can!

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