The modern workplace is almost unrecognisable from ten years ago. The 9-5 has been replaced with remote working, and corner offices and rigid banks of desks have made way for flexible multi-purpose spaces.
And we’re more connected than ever before. These changes are largely due to advances in technology and the influx of millennials, also known as digital natives, joining the workforce. This generation was the first to grow up with laptops, smartphones, and tablets. So, technology plays a huge role in their lives, both at home and work.
So what does this mean for the workplace?
As the demographic of the workplace shifts, so do mindsets and working styles. Generation X grew up working a 9-5 day. Everyone had their own workstation or private office and worked in isolation. The closest they came to technology was the office fax machine. Remember those?
Millennials are used to working in flexible, open-plan environments that lend themselves to collaboration and teamwork. They’re always ‘switched on’.
To cater for the multi-generational workforce, businesses are opting for smart, agile workspaces that offer the best of both worlds.
If you’re looking to futureproof your office, here’s what you need to know.
Switch to a digital first environment
Technology will play an even larger role in the workplace of the future. It’s already made a big impact. Staff can work remotely, hold meetings via videoconference, and communicate with colleagues and clients instantly with Skype and social media.
And this is just the start. From 3D printers and personalised lighting systems, to artificial intelligence and virtual reality: technology is constantly advancing. And it’s making its way into offices around the globe. It’s only a matter of time before digital-first workplaces become the norm. If you’re not ready, it’s time to act.
Make your workplace agile
The concept of agile working revolves around empowering staff to work where, when and how they choose, to ensure they perform at their best. In the office environment, this means providing different spaces for people to work in. For example, desks in quiet areas for solitary work, conference rooms and open spaces for collaborative projects, and break-out areas for relaxation or informal meetings.
Modular furniture can make your office even more agile. A conference room can double up as a private office with moveable partition walls. Modular workstations can be separated out to accommodate hot desking, then moved back together to clear floor space. Folding chairs and tables can be brought out for all-company meetings and stored away the rest of the time.
Adopting an agile workplace is not only great for productivity and collaboration, it’s a good way to maximise the space you have and keep your overheads down. It’s a smart choice.
Support a healthy work-life balance
For millennials, the never-offline and always-available workplace is all they know. To them, powering up at 9am and down at 5pm is an archaic practice. Due to their ‘always-on’ approach, they tend to work long hours in front of a screen. The hours will only increase as technology advances further. So, wellbeing will be a key consideration for the office of the future.
In addition to the traditional wellness perks such as gym membership and health insurance, there needs to be a dedicated space for staff to power down in the office. Google’s solution was a ball pit. Yours may be sleep pods, a sauna, a games room or an on-site beauty salon. Either way, prioritising wellbeing will result in a healthier, more productive workforce.
Futureproof your office with Unispace
As global leaders in business and commercial interior design, Unispace is well placed to help you futureproof your workplace. We’ve done it for many companies including Woodside, Australia’s largest independent oil and gas company. Using a combination of the latest smart technology and wellness amenities, we delivered one of the most technologically advanced, futureproof buildings in the country.
If you want to get ready for the digital workplace revolution, our experienced team can help you re-imagine your workspace and create an environment that engages, empowers and inspires your staff to do their best work. Watch our video to find out more. Then give us a call to get started.