The standard office layout is under threat, replaced by new-age office design. This move isn’t limited to the tech industry – we are increasingly seeing large, multinational enterprises embracing this idea too. So what are the advantages and how can you bring them into your office?
Changing work practices
Whether it’s working lunches, meetings, home officing, remote working or business related travel, most office desks are only occupied 55% of the working day. This has lead to a large increased in hot-desking practices across the UK and Europe. And while initial reactions to hot desking were mixed, the design is now entering its third phase and technology is supporting a better reputation.
The paperless office and cloud computing are having a big impact. This ‘away from desk’ but not ‘out of office’ approach means companies no longer need to assign a desk to every employee. But not every role or employee can go paperless. Companies still need to plan how to supply desk allocations effectively. And office fit out companies need to understand how and when space is used.
One example of this can be seen in meeting rooms. C-level executives are often over-invited to meetings where they were not required. As a result, this group of employees has been championing the video call approach to the point were traditional meeting rooms are becoming obsolete in favour of huddle rooms.
Huddle rooms can be used by a handful of people using a laptop, whereas meeting rooms need conference hardware, which cost thousands and has IT on the phone every five minutes.
These portable peripherals are also a leap forward in terms of interaction. Now, when one employee wants to share something with another, they don’t need to send an attachment and wait for a response, they can simple walk over with their tablet.
This feeds into the designs, companies such as mobiusatwork.co.uk produce. Being able to see where a colleague is and to walk over to them supports interaction. Being able to work in an open space without being disturbed by noise is another.
Getting it right
And this is important because when office design is good our working day is easier. Whether we’re at our desk, in a huddle room or at home – effective office design benefits us all.