The office workplace has changed almost beyond recognition over the past forty years: we’ve moved from pen, paper and typewriters with carbon paper with our own fixed desk to desktop computers and then more flexible workspaces where we might all work from laptops. And the workplace is still changing in line with societal changes, so what do the experts think the next big trends will be?
Wellbeing, rightly, continues to be a hot topic in the workplace, not just because it’s what employees demand but also because it has a positive impact on the bottom line. As more and more research is done into lighting, colour schemes, open spaces, etc, we are seeing designers build these factors into new and refurbished offices.
Co-working but Not Committing
We’ve seen these large co-working spaces for some years now, and we continue to see more opening, with new offices to let Basingstoke being a prime area, but things are changing here too. Organisations are now able to acquire them on shorter leases, giving them more flexibility for growth or downsizing.
More Than a Minority Report?
Artificial Intelligence is well established now, and the trend seems to be that it will be taking over some of the tasks that humans do, from scheduling meetings to producing reports. Who knows how far this will go and how it will impact on the workplace and our work spaces?
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says that we need to be prepared for more technological advances, looking at them in the round – not least because the glass used for energy-efficiency blocks mobile signals.
This is such a contentious topic, but it doesn’t look as though it’s going away. Poorly designed open spaces are worse than old-fashioned offices. Human beings are territorial animals, and designers need to take this into account in new designs – if they don’t, we will just find a way to personalise spaces anyway. Humans are adaptive like that. Facilities managers can get some ideas from offices to let Basingstoke and other such workspaces.
In the coming years, organisations need to think carefully about what they really want and need from their office space, but with more short-term lets available at least they can move more easily if they get it wrong first time round.