1). Say goodbye to the ‘work/lifestyle office’
The office of the future is coming, but haven’t we already seen a lot of changes?
After all, office life has altered dramatically over the years.
A recent workplace trend, for example, is to incorporate anything from movie theatres and snooker tables to beer taps and nap rooms.
These spaces made work more joyous and engaging. Employees could work and then unwind via the in-office gym or meditation room.
What businesses did not foresee, of course, was the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent switch to working from home.
As a result of this period, work/life balance has become one of the most important aspects for employees. Now, people would rather pursue recreational activities like this away from the office.
In fact, millions of people took part in ‘The Great Resignation’ to seek a better life outside of the workplace.
So, employees aren’t as keen on sticking around for games of pool anymore.
That doesn’t mean employees want to return to the bad old days of sterile lighting and cubicles. The office of the future will be an entirely different beast.
It will be adaptable, collaborative and creative. It will meet the needs of employees, accelerate change and support a totally new kind of work.
We have written before about what Generation Z – the future of the workplace – will expect from office life and their employers.
Although they currently only make up 11.6 percent of the workforce, that number will grow exponentially in the near future.
One thing Gen Z employees aren’t seeking is the ‘work/lifestyle office’.
“Things like bean bags and ping pong tables are less enticing to younger employees,” according to Danielle Farage, a Gen Z marketing director, in a recent article for Benefit News.
“Our generation are more focused on pay transparency, equitable benefits, a healthy work culture and flexibility to work at their own pace.”
2). Employees want high-performance workplaces
This is a current workplace trend that will likely be here to stay. In short, employees want to come to work and get the most out of their time there.
It’s time to see your workplace like a Swiss Army knife, an easy-to-use and versatile tool for your workforce to utilise whenever needed.
Some of your employees will want to come into the office to catch up with colleagues. They may miss the culture. They may crave the focus.
Hence, a high-performance workplace will embrace these aspects, using digital and physical infrastructure to turn the office into a workshop for co-creation and collaboration.
Your workplace should be adaptable, able to be optimised for different kinds of work. It should make it possible for your employees to move between office and home, allowing them to make the decision on which area suits them best for the task at hand.
3). Make it connected and accessible
“Today, we can work from home, work in the office, work from a café,” says architect Martin Henn.
“Work itself has become diffuse and distributed, and we need new ways to navigate the relationship between the private workplace and the public sphere.”
A current workplace trend, then, is for the office to be connected to the city, to be efficient, to be accessible. It should be connected to transportation networks and be sustainable.
The office of the future needs to be, according to Henn, “a place with a variety of action and a gradient from more private spaces to public ones, with opportunities for workers to participate in the urban life all around them.”
All of this forms the key characteristics of the post-pandemic office space. Employers crave sustainability and a location filled with great amenities.
So, where you can find this office of the future?
Our new STEAMhouse innovation centre has assessed the needs of today’s large and mid-sized businesses, creating a space that exudes better wellbeing, productivity and collaboration for staff.
Your employees will be able to make the most of some truly fantastic facilities:
- Co-working spaces that can meet whatever requirements your organisation needs.
- Spaces for meetings, networking, exhibitions and individual work, as well as dedicated areas for learning.
- An adjustable workspace where employees can curate the office to their needs.
- STEAMhouse’s central café and garden roof terrace.
All of these spaces are perfect to spark exciting collaborations and create the high-performance workplace many organisations are craving.
It’s also got shower rooms and cycle locks for those looking to go out into Birmingham City Centre and explore, or ride to and from work to build a healthy lifestyle.
Joanna Birch – Director of Birmingham City University’s Research, Innovation, Enterprise and Employability directorate – recently discussed the journey of STEAMhouse.
Within the piece, she highlights the importance of collaborative working from different disciplines.
“STEAMhouse is a magnificent building. It will drive innovation and bring together practitioners, creatives and businesses from different walks of life in order to think differently, do better and achieve more.
“We have created a vibrant community of practice. All of this will help communities take their ideas and opportunities to the next level.”
Ready to explore the office of the future? Discover more and request a tour of STEAMhouse’s office space.