2021 had a huge impact on the office, speeding up a way of working that was already in motion. Many businesses were already looking at solutions to provide staff with workspaces that supported activities and collaboration (activity-based working or “ABW” for short) rather than seating and meeting rooms. 2021 moved ABW forward to a new era, that of “experience-based-working” (EBW) and the “destination office”.
Enterprises need their office locations to become a “destination”; somewhere employees want to hang out and collaborate, not somewhere they have to be. Needless to say, enterprises with fully integrated audio-visual displays, touchscreens and collaborative solutions, that people can interact with embedded within their infrastructure stand in good stead when it comes to getting people into the office. They understand that the office must become more than just a workplace; it must be a desirable destination.
The fully integrated office is a dynamic, adaptable and inspirational space full of collaborative opportunities, supporting users’ needs. It stands out as “the place to be”, making working from home a less desirable option while facilitating productivity and collaboration.
As a multifunctional space, the office is an instrumental aspect of day-to-day business, so getting it right is business critical. The workplace environment impacts employee wellbeing and performance, so people must be the primary concern when creating future-forward office space.
Achieving a people-first approach calls for a marriage between human resources, information technology and management to pursue crucial decisions about where people will be, what they will want and how they can best perform their roles.
From speaking to our clients, it is clear that what most employees want is choice. People want different things at different times, so providing a flexible office space is key to making the office the desirable destination where people want to be.
Moving forward, you’ll need a sturdy digital backbone to maximise the effectiveness of your office. For instance, half of us will probably dial in virtually, and the other half will make the most of better WiFi, free coffee and in-person collaboration. The bottom line is choice means giving the employee the option to work from anywhere, including the office.
What should a “Destination: Office” look like?
Future-proof, people-centred building design plays a prominent role in enticing the workforce into the office. A spacious office atrium has become a staple design factor, increasing social opportunities and working flexibility. Exciting audio-visual technology like holographic visuals and transparent displays are now entering these spaces and adding to the work life experience.
Coffee shop-style meeting spaces and relaxed seating will become the norm in many offices as businesses look to create the “home away from home” environment, encouraging employees to gravitate back towards the workplace. In fact some businesses are now looking to move from traditional offices into “Houses” to really hit the home from home vibe! Others are creating workspace that allow employees to make the most of their day in the office with on-site gyms and games rooms creating a stay and play vibe, to give employees more reasons to come to the office and stay a while.
Audio-visual equipment will play a big role in the future workplace; room booking solutions and digital signage will be a critical factor in ensuring offices can provide “destination” spaces whilst still ensuring employees are well informed and able to work. Large format displays and projection showcasing companies’ internal communications and branding will also become standard in offices. These solutions add vibrancy to offices, bring different departments together, highlighting activities and creating more unity.
There are many interesting and unique ways to make your workplace an exciting and collaborative space for your employees. Taking the time to speak to employees and finding out what would make the space valuable to them is a great place to start!