Have you ever walked into outdated office space? Maybe an old travel agency in a small town or an accountant’s office that has not been updated since the 1980s – it’s only after stepping into one of these that you realize how far offices have come. Even in the past decade, we have made leaps and bounds in the office sector. So, let’s take a look at how these changes came to be and why they stuck around.
Co-working was invented in 2005, so this is a major change that is fairly new. However, it is likely to stick around due to its popularity and success rates. In fact, 67% of members reported improved professional success working in co-working spaces according to studies. The layout provides increased networking opportunities and options for decreased rental rates for fully-furnished, move-in ready offices. Co-working did not exist just over a decade ago, let alone allow freelancers, employees and more to thrive in a new type of workspace.
- Increased Amenities
Amenities were once simply a break room or cafeteria. Many modern office spaces, especially in larger markets, include amenities that rival luxury hotels. Employees are now spending more time than ever in the workplace, and amenities make a difference in employee productivity, happiness and ultimately a company’s overall success. More companies have realized that it’s actually a savings for them when employees are happy and healthy.
Amenities like outdoor workspaces, fitness centers, and healthy gourmet cafe options seem like they are here to stay. Additionally, functional amenities such as electric car charging stations or childcare centers can show employees you care about their needs and produce better long-term work.
- Open Layouts
According to a survey by Gensler, open environments deliver best on performance and experience. 79% of people in workplaces with a variety of options where they could work, rather than a single desk or cubicle, reported a greater experience. As we become more mobile with tablets and ultra-light laptops, employees are not confined to a giant desktop computer. While many companies were quick to jump on board with the open layout trend, the market may be seeing a return to the “norm” as many employees seem to place a higher priority on privacy and escaping distraction. With that in mind, it is crucial to incorporate some aspects of privacy into open layouts to get the best of both worlds and maintain optimal success.
Ten years ago, Wi-Fi was a luxury and not a necessity, but fast-forward to 2019 and it is possibly the most important aspect of an office. You may be saying to yourself, “George has no idea what he’s talking about, Bill Gates invented the Internet and Wi-Fi long ago.” While that may or may not be true (it’s not), many offices were using hard wired internet connection until fairly recently.
With Millennials expected to make up the majority of the workforce by 2020, they have proven to be a generation that thrives with connectivity and the ability to be mobile. Add in that 5G internet is right around the corner and companies set to spend nearly $350 billion by 2025, it is certain that Wi-Fi connectivity will only improve from here.
No, not that kind of green. I’m talking about plants. Ok, no, not that type of plant. I’m talking about office foliage and greenery. Study after study has shown the positive impact that even a few indoor plants can have on productivity. Larger corporations are now factoring this aspect into designs of new headquarters, and this trend is here to stay.
Though you may be used to these office space options by now, many were unknown and have proven revolutionary since the early 2000s. What’s next, you ask? With automation hitting the mainstream in the residential world (think lights, door locks, shades), I anticipate the commercial sector catching on next in the ongoing battle for the best talent. Are you looking around at your office and feeling more like it’s the old travel agency and not Google HQ? Tell your boss to call George Bonvillain at 225-659-8654 and I’ll get them up to speed!