From hidden rooms, opening bookcases and slides through to colouring wallpapers, fake ski cabin designs…how else can we keep the creative vibe going?
What kind of office design can accommodate all the creative needs of an artistic workforce and ensure employees are never lacking creativity?
Predictions are that workplaces of the future may not resemble the offices today. Practicalities won’t be as important and they will all aim to get the best from employees. With productivity and work-life balance being key factors, offices of the future will become more of a collaborative place where people can connect and socialise, not just work!
Thanks to technological advances, we can now avoid the drudgery of commuting and work from home, coffee shops, parks- you name it. This also means that at least some companies are working extra-hard to make their offices more attractive.
At Google’s headquarters in Zurich there is a massage room, aquarium and a slide to deliver engineers smoothly and quickly to the canteen! Deloitte’s Amsterdam office was designed with one empty room on each floor for employees to put what they wanted in them. At LinkedIn’s Californian HQ there is a music room, stocked with keyboards, drums, guitars and audio equipment.
Some of the innovations also include lifts that travel sideways rather than up and down- allowing quick commute from one end of the building to the next.
Biophilic design is yet another idea, with research suggesting that by being close to nature employees have reduced stress level and are more creative.
The days when you could face the sack for turning to work half an hour late are over. A study by Dr Paul Kelley of Oxford University concluded that working 9-5 poses a “serious threat” to health. Many companies now offer flexible working hours and have introduced sleep pods for those most deprived of sleep!
In the dawn of Artificial Intelligence, we shouldn’t forget to mention the smart buddies of the future. Not only will they keep us company, but also they will be able to tell what mood we are in and listen to ours complains. Importantly, as IPsoft chief executive Chetan Dube said: “They will allow us to focus on what’s enjoyable, strategic and creative about our work. They will increase our human power just as calculators once did, and then PCs, databases and search engines.”
One of the most important technological advantages that comes with the office of the future is the fact that it is driven by data. We already rely on data to make all big decisions, optimise our social media distribution or work out what time the next email should be sent.
The future is closer than it may seem
Some people love hot desking, open space offices and giant beanie bags to sit on. Others, from more traditional backgrounds, prefer blackboard and chalk, closed spaces and quiet offices. Any emerging technology that will help businesses save money—and keep employees healthy, happy, and more productive—is something business owners of the future will view as worth the investment and introduce rather sooner than later.
What is your office like? What helps you relax or keep the creative juices going? We’d love to hear from you- leave a comment below.