According to the Swedish Statistical Office, 55% of people worked remotely in 2014, up by 20% in five years. More than 29% of us work at home at least once a week. It means that architects and company managers face a challenge - how to adapt office space to the changing working patterns. The changes occurring in the way we think about the office make it possible to reduce maintenance costs, ensure the wellbeing of the staff, enable intergenerational cooperation and facilitate staff integration.
Diversity of teams made up of people of different temperaments and age is increasingly seen as beneficial; more and more women also work in business. Other challenges are associated with technological changes. On the one hand, we see the phenomenon of technology fatigue, on the other - it is estimated that the number of devices supporting M2M (Machine-to-Machine) communication will rise to nearly 26 billion (Gartner, 2013) by 2020. A modern office ecosystem implements the principles of ergonomics, taking into account the complexity of the employees’ needs - physical, mental and social ones. In the UK, from the onset of the economic crisis in 2008 to 2013, the number of self-employed people increased by 10%, while the number of people employed on permanent employment contracts fell by 434,000. This is another important phenomenon – we operate in a society where ‘work’ no longer means a place you come to, but a set of actions and activities performed at any place and time for the principal.
This fosters the spread of the model of activity-based working, where employees have diverse spaces at their disposal and they can choose places adequately to their tasks. In modern organisations, demand for individual workstations is decreasing, while demand for flexible and diverse space is on the rise. As the popularity of activity-based working keeps rising, employees have fewer opportunities to personalise their workstations, because they don’t have their own desks at their disposal. At the same time, this solution enables team integration around the arrangement of the commonly used space, encouraging creativity, positive attitudes to change and a sense of belonging. Today’s office is an inspiring place for performing professional duties and a strategic tool for gaining competitive advantage.
Autonomy and motivating atmosphere result in increased efficiency of workers, because they use their potential better. Choose a place to work in the office to suit the tasks is an investment in the wellbeing of employees, which translates into their commitment and productivity. In a favourable environment, it is also easier to manage a team and develop leadership skills.
Adapting the workplace to the most recent social and technological developments brings benefits in many areas, including cooperation, communication and response to changes. Understanding the trends and taking advantage of them allows us to create a workplace in tune with the diverse decade.
Do you know what is the diverse decade and how it impacts your life?
The “Trend Report 2015” produced by Kinnarps will help you to understand this phenomenon!
We have analysed the behaviour and habits of workers and examined working environments.
The findings have allowed us to identify the directions for development of office architecture.
The diverse decade is shaped by five trends:
Today, success is an effect of cooperation, that’s why it’s essential to provide employees with office workspaces that encourage them to collaborate.
Architecture and technology combined create completely new workspace solutions. The office as we know it is almost history.
The workspace should support a harmonious development of body and mind. It is a place where the threads of our professional and private life become integrated.
Design for diversity
A modern workspace should ’adapt itself’ to the diversity of goals and needs of contemporary teams – not the other way round.
Office layouts should ensure a maximum level of effectiveness of teams of employees, regardless of the way work is carried out – be it on-the-spot or remotely.
You can read more about the changes related to offices in the Kinnarps Trend Report 2015 Workplace and lifespace design for the diverse decade at www.kinnarps.pl/TrendReport.