Have you ever watched a movie or TV show that never really seemed to be old until you notice the décor of the sets?
And the great shift in design is never more present than when there is a scene featuring an office.
Huge wooden desks with big clunky computers, drab cubicles, corded phones and huge printers.
It’s amazing how quickly things change and it’s also important, as a business owner to stay on top of these changes.
1. Sleek design, smaller desks
The trends of the past suggested great success came with a huge, clunky desk. Today sees smaller workstations featuring minimalist design. In the digital age business machines are getting smaller and more efficient, meaning far less paperwork and physical filing so there’s no longer a need for a huge desk space, leaving you free to simplify.
2. Open plan/fitted systems
Cubicles are thankfully a thing of the past, having been replaced by open plan desking. Fitted systems are a great solution for the open plan office. Not only do they maximise space but they are completely customisable. Change the configuration office with a few re-arranged desks and privacy screens and you have a whole new work environment making it easier to keep up with changing trends.
There is one downfall of the open plan, and that is noise. In some offices it is near impossible to even make a phone call due to the noise of co-workers just going about their day. Thankfully, like all modern nuisance’s, technology has stepped in to save the day. There is a whole new breed of headsets available to block out external noise not only to you but also to the person on the other end of the call, making them perfect for the bustling office environment.
Other tricks to regain a little privacy and focus are moveable acoustic screens or dividers, giving you the illusion of your own private space, just pop on your noise cancelling headphones and get to work!
3. Collaborative workspaces
Collaborative workspaces are an emerging trend that we are paying close attention to. Getting together and hashing out ideas leads to great things. For collaboration to truly work you’re best to create a breakout space that is solely for this purpose. It doesn’t have to be one fixed space, that’s the beauty of it.
By carefully selecting furniture and equipment that is portable and able to be customised you can create a space that can be adjusted to suit the needs of the day. Whether it be a short huddle or an all-day brainstorming session, the furniture and equipment can be transformed to fit the need. It has been found that fostering a collaborative mentality brings about improved productivity and engagement which leads to a more positive workplace culture.
4. Putting the employee first
By putting the needs of staff first and allowing them to maintain a work/life balance by adopting an agile work day, it allows productivity to thrive and improves the wellbeing of your people. Many companies are saying goodbye to the traditional nine-to-five and are embracing a new way of working. There is also an increase of staff working remotely and spending less time in the office means you have the flexibility to introduce hot-desking.
Hot-desking is a system of desk sharing, meaning staff members don’t have a fixed position in the office, they carry their equipment with them and set up camp where a hot-desk is available. This works well for a company that encourages an agile workforce. The wonderful thing is that there are a whole host of products available to help the modern hot-desker, including backpacks designed to hold everything needed for a productive work day, carry cases for your stationery essentials and tech that is smaller, more efficient and more portable than ever.
If you’re unable to offer a remote working solution to your staff you can still improve their wellbeing by focussing on the options you give them in the office. For example, ergonomically sound fit-outs like sit/stand desks and properly suited chairs will help your staff to be healthier, more engaged and more productive.
Given we are spending more time at work than ever it makes sense that the latest office trends are catering to wellbeing, health and happiness. By adapting to these changing trends you will guarantee your staff feel taken care of and will in turn be more productive, leading to a better outcome for everybody.
Belinda Lyone is the General Manager of COS Working Spaces. COS is Australia’s largest privately owned office products supplier, servicing over 5,000 business customers across Australia and offering thousands of products used in today’s modern workplace including technology, kitchen and cleaning, furniture, print and promotional items, and office supplies. COS supports organisations of all sizes by making the selection and delivery of office supplies easy, streamlined and cost effective, allowing organisations to remain focused on business critical activities.