The way we view workplace design is evolving. Traditional concepts of the “office” are becoming less applicable as our decentralized workforce breaks the 9-5 mold and chooses to work virtually or remotely throughout the day. Advancements in technology, such as video conferencing, email and instant messaging platforms, have untethered workers from their desks, allowing them mobility both throughout the office and outside of its confines. As employees continue to push for flexible working practices and studies prove its benefit to both productivity and performance, what implications does this have on traditional workplace design? Let’s take a look at the power of transitory work and and why corporate America is being forced to reevaluate the modern office in order to attract and retain top talent.
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Bombas Offices in NYC
The Power of Mobility
An extensive amount of research has been conducted in recent years to pinpoint the expectations employees have for their workplace and how well organizations are meeting demands. The results all lead to the same conclusion – today’s workforce is looking for positions that go beyond the traditional office concept and cater to their desire for flexibility. In a recent study conducted by Harvard Business Review, American job seekers ranked flexibility as the second most valued benefit behind health insurance. Millennials, in particular, are pushing for mobility, often choosing that benefit over a salary increase and showing willingness to leave a job in order to secure it. As this group of young professionals becomes the largest in the U.S. and the desire for flexible working practices spreads throughout our multi-generational workforce, organizations are reexamining their practices both within office walls and outside of them.
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Arthritis Research Offices in London
Outside the Office
According to the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey, which outlines the views of nearly 8,000 millennials across 30 countries, the percentage of telecommuting workers has surged by 21% since 2016. These numbers reflect how rapidly technology is facilitating mobile working and how employers are becoming increasingly comfortable with such arrangements. Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report found that the most engaged workers were those who were able to split time between the home and office, with respondents linking remote work to increased performance and productivity. The modern workforce craves control over their schedules, adjusting their hours and environments as needed in order to ensure maximum work quality and a greater work-life balance.
While transitory capabilities play an important role in employee satisfaction and performance, organizations have started to call telecommuters back to the office on the premise that face-to-face interactions and spontaneous collaboration can be lost with out-of-office work. These collaborative opportunities, after all, nurture innovation and shape company culture. In order to harness the benefits of both work styles, it is crucial that employers evaluate what type of telecommuting program works best for their employees and design a workplace that offers tools for maximum adaptability.
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Transferwise Offices in Singapore
Within the Office
Aside from telecommuting programs, transitory capabilities also refer to the mobility employees are offered within the office. Advancements in technology have untethered workers from their desks and given them control over their work experience. The push towards a more fluid environment has near endless benefits, including boosted creativity, engagement, collaborative opportunities and both individual and organizational productivity. Creating an agile, activity-based workspace will harness these benefits for our modern workforce and support transient workers of all types. Now let’s explore a few design elements that support the modern mobile employee.
Building for Today’s Employees
Businesses of all shapes and sizes want engaged employees who find satisfaction within their workplace. Recent studies solidify the fact that the demand for flexibility is stronger than ever and employers must provide it in order to attract and retain today’s top talent. Regardless of how much time employees spend within their office, which will vary based on the telecommuting program employers deem best, design elements that adapt alongside them are critical to maximum performance and productivity. Benching systems with unassigned seating allow for transient workers to touch down while in the office or take their focus work away from their desk, utilizing comfortable ergonomic capabilities and acoustical elements to eliminate distractions. Mobile work carts and communal tables with integrated technology are rapidly adaptable tools that fit a variety of needs and allow for freedom throughout the workplace. Informal “third spaces” filled with collaborative furniture pieces and amenities provide an opportunity for decompression or impromptu meetings with teammates.
Image Source: Office Snapshots, Rise Innovation Hub Offices in Tel Aviv
Space utilization, which addresses how space is allocated throughout a facility, is a key component in creating an engaging workplace that meets the needs of its workers. Understanding what types of space you have, how they are being used and how often they are being used can help employers make informed decisions on which workplace design elements are the right fit for their square footage. Numerous tools are available with which space utilization can be exactly measured, producing a wealth of data that, with ample time and study, can help organizations implement beneficial workplace strategies. For our purposes today, we will simply note that investing in educated space utilization will help companies build spaces for today’s transient, diverse workforce.
Transforming Your Office
As we see workplace design moving towards an increasingly fluid environment, it is more important than ever to understand your employees and the tools they need to be productive. Consulting with a design firm like Corporate Design Interiors will ensure that your expectations are both understood and exceeded, bringing creativity and craftsmanship into your space for maximum functionality. Reach out to our team for more information on how to begin the transformation of your workplace.
Featured Image Source: Office Snapshots, United Technologies Digital Offices in NYC
Corporate Design Interiors (CDI) is an industry-leading commercial furniture dealership whose award-winning product knowledge, thoughtful design coupled with strategic planning deliver functional and inspiring interiors designed to foster employee well-being, productivity and engagement. CDI’s relentless focus on delivering positive workplaces mirroring the culture and vision of companies while delivering a high value investment has earned CDI diverse clients including; established Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits/public sector and energetic startups.
As a “Select” Kimball dealer, CDI’s excellence in sales, partnership, quality improvement, community involvement and overall business best practices earned it the 2017 Kimball Premier Partner Award. CDI was selected among 52 other Kimball Select dealerships throughout the country for this industry-leading honor, earning additional praise for its company culture and enterprise practices.
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