Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Like it or not, things change. Trends change. And new trends and changes aren’t exclusive to your wardrobe or your house – they’re also relevant in your company’s office environment. Employees want, no…employees expect to be able to work in a modern, comfortable, productive office. One that emphasizes their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses. Don’t laugh – this is truer than ever, especially with today’s fresh crop of twenty-something millennial workers – they’re a whole new breed. Luckily, this can be done quite simply and without breaking the bank, and that’s thanks to the minimalistic style that seems to dominate the workspaces of the world’s most prestigious brands.
Have you seen some of the unbelievably cool offices that exist out there? At the very least, a quick Google search will show you that the cream-of-the-crop, most innovative companies are spending the time and resources on making their offices cozy, up-to-date and most importantly, motivating for the employees – and you know what kind of good things happen when employees are motivated.
Below, we’ll take a look at 5 contemporary office trends that will transform your dull, drab, cubicle drone farm into a highly productive, money-making, well-oiled machine.
1. Color it up. One of the easiest ways to breathe new, exciting life into an office is adding color. It is mind-blowing how many offices, even in 2013, are gray, darker gray, and maybe a touch of navy blue. How depressing is that? No wonder your employees dread waking up in the morning. BenjaminMoore.com picked “Lemon Sorbet” as 2013’s color of the year. It doesn’t matter if you go bright, flat or even dark – but splash the place up with some color and watch it transform. Hire an interior designer and figure out what would look great in your office. Most, if not all of the highest-rated offices in the world have colorful spaces.
2. Knock down walls. One of the hottest and most logical trends being seen in the past few years is the opening of the workspace. In other words, it’s time to consider knocking down those 5ft cubicle walls. Open workspaces are all the rage, and for good reason. A recent survey by Ethisphere Institute Jones Lang LaSalle, clearly showed that open workspaces not only boosted employee morale, but it also had a significant impact on the reduction of employee misconduct. Think about it – instead of giving the employees little, private spaces where they can browse Amazon.com all day without anyone noticing – with an open workspace they might be less likely to do that. Makes perfect sense.
3. Quiet down, now. Another emerging, popular trend is known as “sound masking.” This technology is especially effective for your new, open workspace environment, because it increases speech privacy amongst your employees and also reduces noise distractions. This exciting new technology is being installed in offices around the world, because of the tremendous positive acoustical benefits, which in turn boost employee morale and increases focus. Sound masking, while popular with new office builds, can also be installed into existing offices which will certainly be a massive step toward modernizing your workplace.
4. Integrated tech. While not the cheaper option on the list, it might be the one with the most impact. Integrating tech means having tablet docking stations, big screens for Skype video conferences, multiple tabletop grommets and an overall openness to embracing the inevitable long list of awesome tech that we’ll see released as we move into 2014. The majority of your workforce - the insanely tech-savvy millennial, will appreciate a company who’s too hip to be square.
5. Work hard, play hard. Nearly every modern company has some type of inner-office sanctum full of pool tables, video game systems, air-hockey and similar forms of entertainment. Why? Because it provides a long list of benefits for your bottom line. You would be amazed at what a couple of ping-pong tables will do for the overall mood, productivity and confidence of an average office employee. These casual gaming areas provide the relaxation and brain-recharge capabilities that your core workforce needs in order to make amazing things happen. Today’s workers aren’t the same as they used to be – they require a strange combination of hard work, motivation and creative or entertaining outlets. It is what it is, so you might as well make the best of it.
Hopefully the five suggestions above will give you a few ideas to work with when you decided to upgrade or even move your office to another building. Again, there’s no need to go crazy – even one of these changes could make the difference and give your workforce the edge it needs to compete.