It suffices for the mind to read 21st century along with any other word to assume that it’s going to be a futuristic take on our architectural surroundings. Perhaps it’s our desire to match up the innovative solutions we’ve all watched in the Jetsons, or perhaps we hope to hear one day from our future self. But the fact is that the 21st century is now, and if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that there is no flying robot outside our home.
However, that shouldn’t mean that our workplaces should be stuck in the traditions of the past. True, we don’t have yet sufficient robotic intelligence to replace us in the office, but it should be the most important reason to improve the workplace. Creating an office environment that meets the requirements of modern life is a necessity only a few companies choose to address. Here’s precisely what you should find in a 21st century office:
Photo credit: The Smalls
It breaks the boundaries of office cubicles
The typical understanding of individual office space includes a desk, a chair and a screen. Old-fashioned settings are in the process of removing cubicle partitions to embrace open-space arrangements, which conveys a small office a much-needed sense of space. However, even though the cubicle walls are down, their presence can still be felt. It’s as if the little cage in which employees used to sit had shaped their surroundings. The chair and the desk mark the spot where the partitions belong. Mentally, employees can’t break free from a cubicle culture just because the physical walls are gone. You need to introduce some freedom to show that the office has moved away from the caged worker approach. Modern workplaces have therefore chosen to present new options, from bean bags to sophisticated standing desk. By introducing individual solutions that match each employee’s needs, you can inject some personality into your decor.
It puts the emphasis on new work strategies
Today’s office understands how to support employees’ work life balance. It’s not as much a matter of decor, but more a matter of virtual resources. Indeed, over 4 million employees work from home at least once a week. By 2020, the UK estimates that 50% of the working population will settle in a position. It makes no doubt that if your business wants a forward-looking office, it has to be virtual. Admittedly creating the structure for remote work success requires the professional expertise from an IT company to set up your cloud system and maintain secure accessibility for the entire team. Simultaneously, companies have to learn to let go of the traditional opening hours. Remote workers don’t want to stay prisoners of the 9 to 5 routine.
It embraces healthy eating habits
What does food have to do with the office? A lot more than you think! Indeed, most offices have a dedicated kitchen area with a variety of food and drink options, including coffee machines, vending machines and a public snack cupboard. The problem is that more and more individuals are becoming aware of their health habits. Maintaining a nutritious diet is a fundamental factor in the lives of young generations. Turning the office kitchen into a place that encourages healthy decisions can be a life-changing experience for your employees. Fresh fruit and vegetable deliveries can turn the typical crisps bag into a fresh apple!
It connects you to nature
The rise of indoor air quality risks has not gone unnoticed. For employees, the first symptoms could headaches, difficulties to concentrate or fatigue. But in the long term, the health consequences could become much more severe. Unfortunately, offices struggle to keep their indoor air feeling clean and healthy, despite the addition of ventilation systems. Tech and science experts, such as NASA, have been working with plants for years as a way of purifying the air and improving their physical and mental health. Using houseplants in the workplace creates a relaxing thinking space.
It is family-friendly
Last but not least, modern workplaces need to support their employees’ work life balance. In companies where remote work is not an option, it can be difficult for parents or even pet owners to maintain their career while spending time with their family. An office that offers on-site nursery services, for instance, makes the transition back to work smoother for parents after the birth of their children. Additionally, a pet-friendly office enables companies to create closer bonds with the team. Bringing your dog to work is a way for pet owners to make sure their dog doesn’t stay alone all day. Besides, the presence of pets is relaxing in a hectic workplace.
The 21st century office is not built around robots and futuristic technology. It is built for people and designed to improve their work experience by keeping them healthy, happy, and cared for.