The office has changed beyond recognition in recent years as businesses have focused more on collaborative workspaces. One of the primary drivers of this has been the realization that employees are more productive if they feel comfortable and happy in the workplace.
We can see this change occurring in offices all around the world, as companies invest in open-plan offices which incorporate more ergonomic features and spaces for employees to interact and chill-out. For many employees, the office has become a more pleasant place to work, so in this post, we decided to take a look at how open office furniture has transformed the way we work.
One of the reasons companies decided to invest in open-plan offices is because it enables employees to collaborate with one another more easily. In the past, offices and desk spaces were closed off from one another, which left many employees feeling isolated. This obviously had a negative impact of the well-being and motivation of the employee and their overall productivity.
This doesn’t happen when shared desks are used, as there are no barriers to communication, which is great for brainstorming, troubleshooting, or venting after a difficult phone call. The value of these real human interactions cannot be underestimated regarding employee motivation and productivity.
Breaking Down the Walls
The move away from compartmentalized offices has had many benefits, such as increased interactions between staff, which in turn has many health benefits. A lack of walls allows more sunlight into the office and makes it easier to move around.
By attaching power points to desks and tables, it is possible for the employees to work in different parts of the office, depending on the task they are doing. If they need to work with other employees, there are tables or areas set aside for collaboration, which vary from company to company. Some examples include areas with sofas or coffee shop style corners.
As mentioned above, without lots of barriers and dividers, the employees can speak directly to other members of their team and also see if other teams are in the office. This reduces the amount of time it takes to track down people when something urgent comes up.
A More Fluid Workspace
The walls are not the only thing that has been removed in the open office, with fixed furniture and single-use rooms slowly becoming a thing of the past. Forward-thinking bosses realize that we live in a fast-moving world, where new trends come and go in the blink of an eye, and this is reflected in the design of the office.
New designs in office furniture have focused more on adaptability and flexibility. Research has shown that sitting at a desk for hours on end is not good for the health of the employees, so desks which can be adjusted to allow for sitting and standing have been introduced into many workplaces. Also, as traditional meeting rooms have been phased out in some offices, so has the mahogany conference table in favor of foldable and moveable tables which can be set up in multiple locations.
These are just a couple of examples of the changes that have occurred to enable a more dynamic workplace, which also allows a business to adapt more quickly to any changes that may occur further down the line.