The modern office and workspace have come a long way since the days of drab, grey partitions. New knowledge of how light, colour and architecture all play a part when it comes to psychological and physical well-being has transformed the way we now think about office design. Knowledge of the following five factors can radically transform the contemporary workplace.
A design for efficiency is certainly one way to define ergonomics in today’s office environment. On the other hand, this simple definition belies the importance and effect upon morale, enthusiasm and performance. Today, it is not only the large corporations who understand this but also the small, dynamic start-ups as well as the discerning and perceptive office manager. Refitting a workspace to incorporate options such as standing desks, areas set aside for time-outs and relaxation, and an overall awareness of how architecture impacts upon staff can improve morale and create an atmosphere of well-being and positive thinking.
As mentioned in the introduction, the office space has changed very quickly over a short span of time, but so too has the technical knowledge of staff. Stemming from this change is an often overlooked consequence; the technological requirements and expectations of today’s workforce. A worker who feels connected and feels that their company is forward thinking in terms of implementing new ideas, software and equipment is much more likely to commit long-term. Many of today’s so-called ‘Generation Z’ workers want to feel a certain status with respect to the technological capabilities of their workplace. With this in mind, it is essential to recognise that the workplace itself is now an attractor when it comes to recruitment and staff longevity.
An awareness of the impact of design, light and space are long acknowledged and important factors, but what if the office space itself is not utilised for future growth? Even if a company plans ahead, new technological advances, staff growth and success itself can often reveal a visible lack of preparedness. In this context, space, storage and future-proofing an office are essential. Carefully considered wall graphics to conceal presses, partitioning and furniture selected for storage potential are all ways in which a company can avoid potential visual eyesores taking up office space.
Company Identity and Branding
It has never been easier for a company to avail of the means to express its own identity and brand. An office only has one chance to make a first impression and this is something that office trends and designs are now utilising in order to maximise initial visual impact. Wall graphics and decals, window- frosting and printed logos are all ways in which to express a confident and vibrant identity. Reflecting the authenticity and ethos of a company has become a key way in which to build rapport and express a workplace culture.
Technological integration is perhaps the most important and exciting ongoing trend within office branding and design. The growing list of available mediums and applications that can be used is an area only limited by imagination itself. Furniture, walls and windows can now be utilised for both static and ‘living’ presentations. This offers the opportunity for flexibility and adaptability in the promotion of products and services. It is a new way of conveying mood and ambience and allowing an office to reflect targets, goals and achievements in a visual way.