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Office Evolution

Wednesday, 17 Aug

An ‘office evolution’ is currently underway, with traditional workspaces quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Cultural and commercial developments such as improvements in the economy, an increasingly younger workforce, technology advancements, and a shift in the way executives and employees view workspaces, have all directly impacted this ‘office evolution’. What is more, companies are beginning to realise that the physical workplace is an excellent manifestation of their organisation and are using enticing offices to attract top talent.

So what simple actions can be taken to create a workplace that has a positive impact on corporate culture, employee engagement and overall productivity? A report from JLL1, suggests that increasing workplace effectiveness could be as simple as incorporating one – or several – of the following modern trends.

Open spaces – Open floor plans can be beautiful, flexible, collaborative and cost-effective. By incorporating open floors plans a company can dissolve hierarchies, support transparency and enhance and mould office culture.

Designate zones – Create work areas that are conducive to different needs; for example, formal conference rooms, casual brainstorming spots, IT/mobile stations and quiet zones. When people have more choice about how they work, they are empowered to choose the space that is most productive for the task at hand.

Think ahead – Choose layouts and furniture that allows you to change the workplace as required. This option can actually minimise disruption and expense in the future as a company expands or contracts.

Power on – Ensure that your company has the appropriate technology and connectivity for the required tasks; such as powerful Wi-Fi, ample power sources, electronic whiteboards, and easy-to-use video conferencing technology. When employees are unencumbered by connectivity issues, they’re able to collaborate, be productive and innovate beyond their specific job duties.

Show Identity – Branded work environments show a strong identity and assist in expressing key messages about a company’s culture. Moreover, branding helps to support a company’s overall goals and allows employees to feel valued; which in turn increases engagement and performance.

‘Greening’ – Greening can generate numerous savings through features like energy-efficient systems and materials. Recent studies have shown that sustainable offices can actually experience a 16 percent increase in employee productivity. Improved acoustics, lighting, ergonomics, thermal comforts and ventilation can have a remarkable impact on employee comfort, health, happiness and productivity.

Now before you run out and make all these changes to your office, be aware that there is no such thing as an ideal workplace. Every company and every employee is different, so keep in mind these recommendations when you’re considering a workspace change.

To download a copy of the JLL “Forget the Beanbags” ebook click here.


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