The 5 most important trends of the office of the future!
The 5 most important trends of the office of the future!
"The office of the future": according to our own definition, this office will meet the needs of employees, such as flexibility, freedom and well-being. However, these needs are often contradictory. On the one hand there is a need for focus, on the other hand we are more connected and we interact more frequently with customers or colleagues. In other words, flexible work environments that are cleverly laid out are more important than ever. Thinking about building your own office of the future? These are the trends!
#1 A space to connect with others
"Community building" is a trend on its own within the new way of working. And what place could possibly be better for building a network than a co-working space? The number of co-working spaces has increased exponentially in recent years. In Brussels alone, co-working spaces were responsible for 32.000 m² of contracts in 2017. In the first three months of 2018, 15.000 m² were added.
But you don't have to go to a co-working space to build a community. You can also work on ‘community culture’ from your own office. There’s nothing like informal chats at the coffee machine and fun afterwork activities at the end of a busy day. Meeting like-minded people and as well as people with different perspectives, can offer new opportunities and insights. The office of the future - without a doubt - needs to offer the possibility to connect!
#2 Smart and flexible layout
Smart and multifunctional formats are essential elements when it comes to the office of the future. For example, there is a need for small office spaces where employees can work without any distractions. The larger workspaces are equipped with an eye on cooperation, consultation and brainstorming. Besides the distinction between large and small offices spaces, there is also an important difference between open and closed spaces. Open work spaces provide external stimuli. For some, this extra distraction could lead to mistakes or stress.
Therefore, it is important to give your employees the possibility to choose the work space and meeting room that meets their personal needs. This will benefit concentration, well-being as well as cooperation. Need some specific ideas? Think of office pods (cozy capsules), sitting balls in meeting rooms, hammocks, spacious tables or lounge corners.
#3 An ergonomic workplace
An ergonomic workplace is a place where people feel good and where they can be as productive as possible. "A healthy mind in a healthy body": we all know how important it is. But are we actually putting in the effort to achieve it? You should take care of your body, always. Event at work. Your workplace can be ergonomically designed by choosing standing desks, desk bikes, adjustable desks and ergonomic office chairs. But what about that healthy mind?
“Soft" (or emotional) values have a direct impact on our mental health and state of mind. The better our (work) environment responds to these soft values, the less employees are absent by illness and the happier they are. That is exactly why company culture is so important. Try to install an open culture with plenty of room for feedback, and always encourage innovation. Introduce moments where all electronic devices are off, or work on the group dynamic by organising a team building activity.
#4 Extra services for an improved work-life balance
We believe that the idea that you should choose between your career or your personal life is outdated. Or at least that it should be. With the right agreements and adjustments, it is possible to find a perfect balance! As long as your company is willing to put in the effort to find the balance, of course. It has been proven that a good work-life balance has a direct impact on happiness: ⅔ of the happiest countries in the world have a high score on work-life balance. (Source: gelukkigebelgen.be).
So how can companies and work spaces contribute to a healthy work-life balance? By offering services that save precious time or by offering extras that make life more pleasant: e.g. ironing and cleaning services, smart mobility solutions, child care, free Netflix and/or Spotify accounts, etc. Surprise your employees with these extra services! By the way: this will also improve Employer Branding!
#5 Green and sustainable workplaces
When we think of bringing more ‘green’ to the office, our mind automatically goes to plants. The advantages? According to a study of the University of Cardiff: increased employee satisfaction, less absenteeism, improved productivity and creativity and less noise nuisance. In addition, the presence of plants adds to the positive image of a company. Customers (or potential customers) unknowingly perceive your company as environmentally and employee-friendly, in the presence of greenery. In case you use the workplaces at Greenhouse, you certainly already enjoy this green image.
By adding plants to our offices, we make it clear that we pursue a more circular and sustainable economy. The goal of a circular economy? Maximising the reusability of products and raw materials while minimising value destruction. Want to be more sustainable? Here are some things you can do:
- Recover waste, residual or byproducts
- Recycle owned and purchased products
- Use sustainable products and materials
- Purchase or generate green energy
- Share resources by collaborating with others
But above all, be creative! There are plenty of possibilities.
Do you need help to furnish your office or are you looking for a suitable workplace?
Ask the experts at Intervest. We are happy to help!