The way that organisations are doing business is changing. With brand new technologies emerging nearly every day and fresh takes on architecture and design becoming mainstream, businesses are altering their approach to office design. Fewer and fewer executives and directors are overlooking operations from highest floor of their office building, and walls between managers and their staff are crumbling. Today’s office space of the 21st century is constantly evolving, with these being the top five trends we’ve seen so far.
1. Open Concept Designs
As the research continues to stack up proving the importance of employee-to-employee and employee-to-manager interaction, a growing number of organizations are choosing to break down the walls between employees and between leadership. Daring businesses have even removed barriers between break rooms and meeting rooms and instead of using desks now promote employees to work at shared desks or tables. The more a sense of community is heralded as the ideal way to run a business, the more this open workspace design option will grow.
2. Better Use of Space
Space efficiency isn’t only necessary for a neater and tidier office, but it can help a business save on one significant expense: real estate. Whether you rent or own the space your company occupies, every inch that your business “stuff” occupies is taking up useful space that can be better used by you and your employees.
Tackling space efficiency typically involves two key points:
Less “dead” space
When companies choose an office fit out in London with Saracen Interiors, the company does more than throw in some shelving units. A professional refurbishing company will look at every square inch of office space, see how it’s used, and will then begin the task of improving organisation and eradicating any seldom used areas (a.k.a. “dead” space) within the business. This often means fewer private offices and transforming them into collaborative team building areas, lounges, or a better break room.
3. Sustainable Furniture and Materials
Reducing our carbon footprint isn’t only something that we should be doing in our personal lives; it’s something that our businesses are also beginning to proactively take part in as well. Today’s modern business is opting for renewable or recycled materials that are free of toxins and are energy efficient. This is not only helpful to the planet, but it also helps boost the company’s bottom line.
Apart from cutting costs, sustainable materials, furnishings and furniture bring a host of other benefits:
These materials help create a toxin-free environment
Being unique, items made of sustainable materials can help inspire imagination and innovation, helping take your business to the next level
Being modern, many of the furniture is designed to the latest and greatest standards in office furniture, including being completely ergonomic
At the end of the day (or our lifetime), these office materials won’t be adding waste to our already overtaxed landfills and instead will be helping the business and the planet it exists on thrive.
4. Socially Responsible
Not only are 21st century companies caring more about what materials they’re using in the work place and their impact on the environment, but they’re also concerned about their impact on humanity. The end of the 20th century saw a spur of businesses include social responsibility into their business models, and the number of organisations choosing to follow suit are increasing. Take TOM’s Shoes, for example. Their catchy slogan of “One for One, One for All” describes exactly what it is they do: a customer buys one pair of shoes, and the company matches that purchase with one free pair going to an individual in need.
But TOM’s isn’t the only company following this “new norm.” Several smaller businesses have made this an integral part of their business, including:
Out of Africa (A cosmetics company which donates a portion of their proceeds to the education and medical care of children, and assists with female job creation in West Africa)
Charitable Agents (Real estate agents who are part of this network donate a portion of their commission to a client’s favourite charity)
Krochet Kids (formed by three high school friends, these now grown adults teach others in Uganda and Peru how to crochet, allowing once impoverished people to make a fair wage through the sale of their goods)
Social responsibility isn’t just a “small business” trend, either. Many of today’s largest corporations are taking numerous actions to help support the less fortunate, budding entrepreneurs, and governments. Some of the most dominant corporations include:
5. Intuitive Technology Integration
Another massive trend in office renovation and refurbishing is switching out old and dated technologies to brand new more efficient technologies that are helping businesses cut costs. Some of these technologies include:
Programmable lighting that operates not only when you need it, but also at the level of light required for you to work productively. These lights also automatically shut off whenever the room is empty and not in use.
Thermal shades that automatically rise and lower depending on the room temperature and the weather outdoors. This keeps the room temperature consistent, comfortable, and reduces energy costs. These can also be lowered completely on a timer or upon demand, doubling up as a fantastic security feature for a business.
Tech equipped offices and conference rooms. Conference rooms that have been outfitted with the latest high quality conference equipment and interactive whiteboards can effectively exchange ideas anywhere and at any time. This not only vastly improves business communications, but these technologies also reduce the expense and carbon footprint of a business by reducing or eliminating the need for business travel
Offices that can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet. Some businesses have taken technology to the extreme by being able to control the entire office environment from their smartphone or tablet, such as temperature control, security systems, system shutdowns, and more.