The events of the last 15 months had a big impact on what companies need from a modern workplace. The sudden shift to remote working put a new spin on the search for answers to the old question: what will the office of the future look like? As businesses adapt to a new world of work, we have pulled together viewpoints from industry experts and trend researchers for a quick overview on the latest thinking.
A new role for the office
Home working has become increasingly popular in recent years, but the mass shift to working from home since March 2020 has prompted employees and employers to review their workplace needs.
“I think maybe the nature of offices will change. You may see that you shrink the square footage, but what you do have is office space that is a lot nicer and different. And, it’s more creative and collaborative.”
Giving employees greater flexibility over their working life while being just as or more so productive offers a chance to make employees and employers happier.
Cultivating a collaborative environment
According to a recent report by leading office furniture brand Herman Miller, future workplace interiors will need to focus on building community and culture.
To lure people out of their homes and into offices, companies need to keep their workplaces relevant. Creating more collaborative environments that facilitate “intensive teamwork” is one way for companies to create workplace experiences that can not be replicated at home.
Additionally, the workplace of the future will likely become a hub for team collaboration. Herman Miller believes that “offices still provide great value as on-demand resources for individuals and teams”.
In a recently published white paper on the future of the office, their experts predict "offices with work settings uniquely tuned to socialization, individual focus, and immersive teamwork." These spaces would feature settings that "encourage people to interact with their extended networks" so people still get a sense of togetherness.
The report also points out that flexible workstations will become popular as they offer a distraction-free alternative to home desks.
This collaborative workplace can be used to support hybrid working and facilitate productivity within teams.
Allowing for flexibility
One overarching theme of the discussions happening around the workplace of the future is flexibility. Whether it be the flexibility provided to employees by a hybrid model of working, or the physical flexibility of workplace environments.
Richard Benson, creative managing director of Allen International, a division of Accenture Interactive, believes the design of flexible work experiences and environments must consider the impacts on employees’ daily lives.
In a recent Workplace Insight article, he stated:
“Greater physical and virtual team collaboration tools between the office and home, truly flexible working rhythms that befit better work / home balances. Such points must be considered if we are to leverage the positive learnings and combat negative side effects since the Covid outbreak (...).”
This greater degree of flexibility in workplace design principles is something architects and designers will need to consider in more detail as they design the workplace of tomorrow.
Designing the workplace of the future with Clippings
Clippings is here to help interior designers, architects and businesses to furnish this new generation of offices.
Having partnered with established workplace brands including Herman Miller, Steelcase and Haworth, but also smaller labels like Icons of Denmark or Workstories, our procurement experts can advise on functional furniture for any offices space.
Book a 15-minute demo with our team to learn about why sourcing furniture with Clippings is easier and faster than with traditional procurement companies
Title image: Herman Miller