- Nov 12 2013
While the designs of offices are as varied as their occupants, some common characteristics can be identified. Today’s offices are brighter, with artificial light taking a backseat to natural daylight. And because companies are looking for ways to engage their employees, common spaces often get the lion’s share of money and attention.
Maximizing access to daylight drives so much of today’s office design. Individual offices have moved from the perimeter to the center, with common areas, such as kitchens, workspaces and lounges, occupying the prime real estate near the windows. This new floor plan allows more people access to unobstructed natural light as well as outdoor views.
And when artificial light is needed, energy-saving light bulbs are replacing traditional fluorescent fixtures with a more controlled, warmer and gentler illumination.
Modern offices are also redistributing space to create casual homelike settings. While individual offices aren’t disappearing, they are shrinking in size, sometimes even in number.
As the boundaries between work and home grow increasingly blurred, creating comfortable spaces that encourage collaboration and bonding builds stronger working relationships and connects employees to their work environment.
As common areas claim a larger portion of the office, workspaces are becoming more varied so that they can be easily adapted to different working styles while increasing communication, efficiency and performance.
Office environments that require constant contact may rely on a newsroom style set up with long rows of narrow desks that face one another; while other settings may feature to a room with workspace around one large table. Offices can also create temporary workspaces as needed, accommodating and integrating visiting mobile employees. Flexible workspace, like Google Garage, is definitely part of our future. Be prepared to move!
From the focus on natural light, to the casual design of common space, to the emphasis on sustainability, the elements that began as workplace trends have now become standards in office design.
Offices today are undergoing a revolutionary shift in design to fit the way people work. A well-designed office can create a sense of community, improve workflow and give an organization an extra edge over the competition for top talent.
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