Do the recent changes to office environments have you wondering how they will continue to change in the future? Us, too.
With many having spent a few years with remote work, it takes a lot to convince employees to come back to the office. But what’s one of the solutions paving the way for the future? Smart offices.
A smart office, by definition, is a tech-savvy space with sensors and devices that provide a highly efficient and productive work environment. Utilized in everything from room displays, to network sensors, workplace apps, and detection systems, a smart office is responsive to the tenants within it to make their workday easier.
Sounds great, right? To further understand the features of the office and what will the office of the future look like, we are breaking down the changes to come.
Key Components of the Future Office
There are some different components involved in explaining how will communication change in the office of the future. Let’s break it down.
The new key smart office technology is workplace apps.
Instead of employee cards that are easy to lose, companies will increasingly rely on apps downloaded to employees’ smartphones to account for their time. This way, an individual who works for you can enter or leave the building, access rooms, book a desk or room, and rent equipment, all through their phone. Additionally, remote workers can use these apps as a communication tool.
The office of the future has smart furniture. A smart standing desk allows workers to adjust how high they want to be, and can even keep a record of their preferences. Additionally, technologies for office chairs can record data of sitting and standing time to provide benchmarks, helping monitor to make suggestions, just like your phone use or social media time.
The future of the office is green.
As many companies look to improve their energy usage and reduce their carbon footprint, intelligent climate control systems and smart thermostats can help with the process by monitoring and controlling air conditioning, lighting, elevators, and other energy-consuming elements to reduce the company’s impact.
One of the top concerns for future office environments is indoor air quality. Thankfully, with smart climate sensors, we can monitor the air quality for the safety and health of staff. This is something more employees are looking for, especially after the pandemic.
Well-being in the office is a growing priority as we look to the future of office buildings.
Offices of the future are less about the traditional office implementations of Google campus’ or free donuts, and more about providing the tools that help employees boost their mental and physical health. This means providing a space that helps employees succeed, and less about fun amenities.
When we talk about what is the future of the office, many often say smart workspaces. But what does this mean?
Smart workspaces describe different sections of an office that let employees choose which space makes the most sense for what they are working on. For instance, if someone is working on coding, they might prefer a desk, while someone in a 1:1 meeting will opt for a phone booth.
This future workspace vision includes:
- Activity-Based Work
Employees are able to choose working environments based on the activities they hope to complete. These environments allow staff to rotate through different spaces during the day depending on their needs, whether they need a small office for a small group meeting or a soundproof phone booth for a call.
- Hot Desks and Floating Desks
The future of office environments includes different workstations where multiple employees can shift throughout the day through floating or reserved desk systems. This allows offices to save desk space by not permanently assigning sections to one person. Instead, staff can be polled about how often they work remotely vs in person to plan the office accordingly. This way, there’s a proper distribution of hot and floating desks, as well as other space options for a more diverse office.
- Coworking spaces
A smart office includes co-working areas that allow employees to gather together, without sectioning off into meeting rooms or individual stations. This coworking space allows employees to feel more flexible in the office, worrying in different settings throughout the week as they see fit.
Smart Meeting Rooms
A smart meeting room is the future of office environments as it brings smart technology to physical meeting rooms to create a more productive meeting experience, no matter where attendees are located at the time of the meeting. Smart meeting rooms allow meeting participants to benefit from more productive meetings, while IT can gather information about what tools and spaces are proving most effective.
The components of smart conference rooms include:
- Video conferencing software platforms to conveniently schedule, invite attendees and launch the video meeting.
- A smart video conferencing camera that easily connects to any computer or device.
- Whiteboard tools to best see, even for remote meeting participants.
- Smart analytics and productivity tools to understand how spaces are being used and if it affects office needs or improvements.
- Processing power and technology can be improved for better meetings.
The future of office space is virtual. Virtual office space is the idea that employees and owners can work remotely while using business software and the internet. This allows owners to avoid spending on buildings and amenities, which is ideal for startups and small businesses. Plus, it gives remote workers more flexibility.
What Is the Future of Office Buildings?
So, what is the future of work office space offerings?
With corporate offices playing an important role in recruitment, training, and onboarding, they are certainly shifting in their offerings and characteristics. While many workers have increasingly opted for remote work, many businesses are best off using co-working spaces or offering smart office elements that elevate their in-person offerings to attract employees to come in versus staying at home.
By maintaining some form of in-office presence, businesses can further promote company culture and boost productivity, while embracing the future of work-office environments to evolve with the changing landscape.
Will the office of the future be different? Without a doubt, but with many employees growing tired of looking at their same at-home setup, offices of the future have major potential. No, it may not be that same rigid cubicle setup, but a hybrid environment where employees receive the flexibility they have become accustomed to in recent years.
Perks of the Offices of the Future
There are many benefits to offices of the future, especially as flexible workspaces grow in flexibility. Here are the advantages of future office environments,
Since offices of the future allow for more hybrid work, they don’t require as many amenities as traditional office environments. Instead of purchasing desks, chairs, and storage for every employee, modern offices will lower costs by relying on shared tables and common workspaces for a more free-flowing environment.
Better Mental Health
SurveyMonkey found that 38% of workers are happier with a more flexible setup, and that’s what the future of the office is all about. With non-traditional workspaces, employees can adjust their setting based on their needs, creating a low-stress, comfortable environment staff is excited to go to.
At the end of the day, we want to be sure the office of the future is a productive one. Thankfully, a Statista survey found that flexible working actually boosted employee productivity by 82%. By allowing employees more liberty to work from wherever, whenever they want, they are free to do their work in a less rigid environment, boosting morale and productivity.
Offices of the future are already popping up across the city today, with companies offering more flexible work environments and high-tech solutions to suit an ever-changing work environment. And while the future may feel intimidating at first, smart office environments are essential to meeting staff needs as we continue to evolve post-pandemic.
At 620 N LaSalle, we have already embraced the future of the office, offering a flexible hot desk, co-working, and standard office environments with added amenities to ensure everyone has what they need for a successful workday within reach. To explore our future-ready office spaces, contact us today.
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