In order to compete in a global market, the American workforce continues to grow more tech-savvy, data-driven, and analytical.
Future forward companies, meanwhile, continually seek new and innovative ways to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of their employees. Naturally, in addition to upgrades in processes and digital productivity tools, the modern office has undergone some significant evolutions.
For any company seeking to increase market share, keeping pace with these trends is vital for a number of reasons. First, the top talent in any given profession is likely to place a strong emphasis on workplace environment when considering employers. Second, a workplace environment that fosters wellbeing, creativity, and productivity can help a company bring out the best in their employees.
What are these trends? Here are five examples:
- Reduction of Noise and Distractions
It’s been about 20 years since the initial push toward open plan office spaces swept corporate America. The removal of cubicle walls has, many believe, yielded significant benefits in terms of ideation and collaboration (and put a stop to the dreaded “cubicle prairie dog”). However, there have been downsides as well. A recent article in CNBC cited studies that suggest more than half of today’s workforce finds their office environment too distracting to be fully productive. An even higher number of workers wish for more quiet workspaces.
To solve the problem, many offices utilize acoustic room dividers and desk dividers. In addition to providing a visual barrier to distractions, these products reduce ambient noise by incorporating sound absorbing materials into their opaque panels.
The removal of cubicle walls, combined with the advent of minimalist, table-style desks has significantly opened the lines of sight into a typical worker’s desk area. This not only encompasses open views of a worker’s computer screen and desktop contents, but exposes the area beneath the desk as well.
Strategically-placed room dividers and desk dividers are also being used to address this problem. For example, leading desk divider models have been designed with the option to block the view above the desk (known as a “privacy panel”), below the desk (known as a “modesty panel”), or a combination of both.
- Health and Wellbeing
From vending machines that serve only healthy snacks, to step challenges, to onsite yoga classes and massages, companies are continually getting more creative when it comes to improving the health and wellbeing of their workers. The thought process is that healthier workers will take fewer sick days and submit fewer medical insurance claims, not to mention be happier, more energetic, and ultimately more productive.
Standing desks continue to be an integral part of these initiatives, especially as evidence of standing desk benefits continues to surface.
For example, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific reported on an Australian study that concluded that standing while working can help increase not only productivity but also life expectancy. The article noted as follows:
“Now, a new Australian study, published in the August issue of the Scandinavian Journal Of Work, Environment And Health, says besides improving the health of the workforce, the introduction of sit-stand desks could reduce absenteeism and help companies save money which would have otherwise been spent on the medical bills of employees.”
According to the Harvard Business Review, modern workers “…perform better when they can control their space.”
In other words, employees thrive in situations where they have a choice of where, when, and how they work.
How can a company help foster this choice? A basic example would be issuing laptops instead of desktop computers that force employees to only work at their desks. Another example could include flexible furniture options that allow team members to cluster desks together for group projects and break them apart when it’s time to work independently.
As workspaces become more fluid, it will be increasingly common to see employees wandering away from their desks to pop open their laptops on a couch or a café table in a quiet corner of the office…and getting more done because of it.
As you may have read in publications like Forbes, the shared office (also known as a “coworking” space) is a rapidly-growing trend among millennial freelancers and millennial-owned startups.
Among the reasons, Forbes writes, is increased opportunities to collaborate - both within organizations, as well as with members of other organizations.
As more and more millennials participate in the workforce, coworking-style offices will become the norm at traditional companies, too.
In practical terms, this will mean mobile furniture on wheels - like small meeting tables and standing desks - that makes it easy to reconfigure a room, easy access to dry erase whiteboards and other collaboration tools, and the use of room dividers to create temporary meeting spaces and private work areas.
All in all, a successful modern office will be a flexible, functional space that enhances not only collaboration, but also individual productivity, and wellness. Look to Luxor to be your trusted source of furniture solutions that foster a more collaborative, functional and productive work environment.
Visit www.luxorfurn.com to learn more.