Office layout

The office of the future: what factors should we consider?

20 years ago most office buildings were built following the same corporate style and the choice between what one building and the next offered to the staff working in it were minimal. Fast forward to 2018 and we’re in a very different position.The office market has evolved considerably and employers are very aware that a building is pointless without the people inside it – the human capital.

The amenities and facilities on offer are now a key factor for those making decisions about where they want to work. The pendulum of power has swung in the direction of the employees and whether a business can offer a subsidised café, gym, first-class technology, social spaces or wellbeing facilities can now act as a deal breaker in the war for talent.

With people at the heart of every business and competition for talent at its peak, it‘s vital for businesses to understand the drivers of an evolving workspace that’s rapidly becoming more fluid, with a greater focus on freelance workers, hot desking and flexible working.

The co-working platform has substantially risen in popularity over recent years and is changing the office landscape. Brands such as WeWork and The Office Group have introduced a new concept of serviced office space with a more social offering that includes a wide variety of amenities and facilities.

Looking forward, it’s likely that we will see more of these lifestyle benefits introduced within traditional offices as landlords and employers focus on staff engagement and motivation, while still trying to retain their culture and identity.

There will predictably be organic changes to the office as outside life infiltrates the corporate arena. We have already seen this with the domestication of the workplace becoming more and more obvious, but how far will these lines blur in the future?

As these two worlds continue to collide, we are likely to see more changes in the design of workspaces becoming less stark and corporate. We also expect to see a greater emphasis on striking the balance between collaborative space and knowledge exchange with individual working areas.

It’s inevitable that the office of the future will be far more diverse in terms of the types of space it offers to allow for a variety of different working styles and needs. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and landlords and employers need to recognise the importance of this in order to drive productivity.

However, the thing that will be at the heart of this is technology and connectivity. Buildings are becoming far more intelligent in order to respond to the requirements of those within them. The intelligent building of the future will combine the virtual and physical worlds resulting in an agile and sophisticated office that can adapt to every working need.

The final influencing factors that will help shape the future office are millennial culture and social behaviour, both are equally incredibly important and will be a driving force moving forward. 

Whatever the future office looks like it needs to be: connected, across all aspects of transport, tech and suppliers; fun, in order to engage staff; and thoughtful, to ensure wellbeing.  

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