How workspace design is going to be a game changer?
The way we work has evolved over the past century, and so has the office. Time and again our offices have swiftly been able to adapt – responding to cultural shifts, global crises, and market changes. Technology has assumed more control in our offices and our operations. Seamlessly helped us to do things in a faster and smarter way, each breakthrough redefining how we communicate, share information and expand our workspaces.
1950s: On the origin of offices
The open-plan office first came around in the 1950s. The open design was reminiscent of factory floors and was meant to foster productivity by keeping everyone visible and under the watchful eye of the manager.
Higher ranking employees typically had their own cabins, with the most senior leaders occupying the converted corner office, which served as a status symbol.
These offices weren’t designed to foster creativity or collaboration but with the single purpose of channeling maximum productivity. Work culture tended to be more overtly hierarchical and formal in the 1950s.
The modern office, also known as the Action office, emerged in the 1960s. Robert Propst, the brains behind this invention, believed this design would boost employee wellness and allow for increased privacy.
This type of offices, included flexible cubicle spaces and gained popularity for its pop aesthetics. There was an additional financial advantage in getting rid of walls. In lieu of all these benefits, we can still see this design being embraced in a lot of offices till date.
The Early 2000s: Transformation and Technology
The 2000s were a time of evolution and revolution in the way people worked. Technology and high-speed connectivity became hyper prevalent in society.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, long-term lease commitments seemed risky. Instead, companies wanted shorter-term leases and to maximise the efficiency of space. This need for a different approach to managing office space resulted in the rise of coworking and flexible office providers.
These companies championed things like flexibility, unassigned seating, on-site daycare, healthy food options and amenities to make the workplace overlap more seamlessly with life.
By the late 2010s, as this new amenity-rich office model took off, companies began experimenting with digital tools and excessive use of technology due to the digital revolution and increasing demand for flexibility.
2020: The year everything changed
Fast forward to 2020, businesses were suddenly catapulted into the next model of workspaces, not by choice or gradual evolution but by necessity. Overnight, office workers became remote workers unsure of when they will be able to return back to their normal office routine.
As the vaccine is in sight, the Real estate and infrastructure sector continues on a path of steady growth with investors actively looking to invest in the industry. Skootr’s recent rebranding and expansion is a true paradigm of economic recovery. Skootr continues to transform and redefine workspaces while delivering world-class workspaces and experiences to enterprises.
Mr. Rajat Johar, Skootr Country Head, predicts
“Real Estate is geared up for a sharp rebound recovery in 2021 with a double digit growth”.
The evolution of offices is a story of resiliency, of continual adaptation to meet the changing needs. Companies are focused to transform their workspaces to boost employee productivity and engagement. According to research by Gartner, employees who are satisfied with their work environments are 16% more productive, 18% more likely to stay and 30% more attracted to their company over competitors.
What happens next?
As we emerge from this crisis, a new era of workspace design is starting to take shape. Here are some changes to look out for:
- Personalize your workplace: Effective flexibility gives employees greater control over their space and signals that their employers trust them to make good decisions – a signature element of engagement. The Harvard Business Review survey further revealed that by a margin of 42% to 28%, would rather be able to personalize their work environment than opt for unlimited vacation. The rise of flexible space is a great opportunity for companies to rethink how they can better create workspaces that get the best both from the building and their employees.
- Company Culture: More companies these days look for customized workspaces as they want to reinforce their company culture in their workplace. How visibly a company expresses its brand, values and culture through its workspace can have a very real impact on the business. According to Harvard Business School study, companies that actively develop their culture return 516 percent higher revenue and 755 percent higher income than those who do not.
- Create a holistic view of workplace wellness: When deciding what changes to make to your workplace, remember that workplace wellness is not just about the physical health of your employees. It includes physical wellness, emotional wellness and environmental wellness. To create a truly healthy work environment, you must take all three into consideration:
- Emotional wellness: Break rooms and quiet rooms where they can comfortably focus on work as well as take breaks to socialise and brainstorm for new and innovative ideas among their colleagues.
- Physical wellness: Amenities like restaurants, coffee shops to provide them with healthy food options as well as ergonomically designed workstations.
- Environmental wellness: Make sure your workspaces have adequate air quality, natural light, temperature and proper acoustics.
The most productive space can only be created with the collaboration of employers and employees. Companies that adapt to a more holistic view of workplace wellness will be able to create a much more greater impact in their organization than affecting productivity and employee engagement.
As the economies recover around the globe, industry leaders believe the next model of offices may be the best one yet.