Welcome to the Office of the Future
Posted on November 03, 2016
The workplace we know is changing. Technology is moving at warp speed, as businesses are forced to keep up with the pace of change.
The office environment is also evolving with the needs of the millennial workforce, with flexibility, wellbeing, engagement, connection, and innovation at the forefront of the design process.
This is the office of the future. Read on to find out the key design and tech features that will define it.
The future office will be all about versatility, flexibility and choice. Moveable floorplans will be a standout feature, with the ability to adjust to the needs of the business at any given time. Furniture will also need to be adaptable to the needs of this moveable floorplan.
This will mean providing employees with a mix of spaces, tailored to the tasks they are working on at any time. For example, there may be an ‘innovation hub’ wholly dedicated to creative brainstorming based tasks. This activity-based working setup will allow different departments to fluidly collaborate, while allowing staff who need to work autonomously on a project the peace and quiet to push ahead.
VR Meeting Rooms
Video conferencing is a common feature of the modern office. Connecting people across time zones and devices, video has become a key technology enabling collaboration between teams. The next phase for video connectivity is VR conferencing. As virtual reality headsets shift from being an emerging technology to a consumer reality, this trend will begin to mobilise communication within national and global businesses. Imagine sitting in an empty boardroom, having ‘face to face’ conversations with colleagues or clients from interstate or international locations. The possibilities are endless, and they’re coming to a meeting room near you.
Embracing the Internet of Things
When people discuss smart devices and the connected world, they tend to limit their conversation to themselves and their homes – quite simple features streamlining daily tasks. The reality is, that our new connected world , or ‘The Internet of Things’ (IoT), is much greater than this. The devices and technology we use in our work day will be huge contributors to the IoT. The ability to capitalise on these features will be a defining feature of fast-moving, disruptive businesses. Imagine smart whiteboards that allow teams in separate offices to contribute to the same brainstorm session, saving an image of the screen with the ability to forward across to all meeting attendees.
Better yet, envisage a sign in the foyer of your office that uses beacon technology to sense when a client is approaching, generating a guest pass, displaying the location of the meeting, and sending a notification to the organiser to let them know their client has arrived. (We don’t actually know if this will be a thing, but it sounds great, and we should probably patent it.)
Bringing the Outdoors In
It’s well acknowledged that spaces with natural light and greenery increase employee wellbeing and positivity. Emerging office spaces take this one step further, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor working. Living walls, glass atriums, and open-air spaces are becoming common features of the modern office. The Commons, a co-working space in South Melbourne, refitted their incredible warehouse space with this in mind. All offices are built surrounding a central garden, inviting the outside in and flooding the space with natural sunlight and filtered air.
Google has set a particularly high standard for what millennials desire out of a workplace. With some of their global offices featuring putting greens, slides, live music stages, hammocks, massage rooms and aquariums, the precedent for incredible office design has been well and truly set. Enviable perks aside, Google has put a lot of work in to researching, refining and investing in features that drive happiness and high performance within their teams – and that’s the true precedent here.
Offices of the future will need to balance form and function to support staff engagement, positivity and productivity. And with millennials making up the future workforce, the pressure will be on for businesses to design workspaces that attract and retain the best talent in market. Is your office keeping up with the pace of change?
Where to start?
Vocus is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of office technology and connectivity. We’ve worked with businesses across many verticals that want to create seamless workplaces for their staff and visitors. Talk to us today about how you can merge technology and function to drive better outcomes for your business.