December is almost over, and as the New Year is quickly approaching, many office executives are taking the time to reflect on how the modern workplace has changed. More importantly, we’re going to weigh in on if these two major changes are a good or a bad thing – because not all change is progression. Especially when it comes to office design that sacrifices efficiency for aesthetics.
In this article, our in-house team of modern office designers have compiled two big ways business has changed and their professional opinions on how effective these changes are today.
#1. Goodbye cubicles, hello open plan layout
Up until the early 2000s, many businesses opted for confined cubicle layouts within their corporate offices. The main intent of cubicle layouts was to promote more individualized and focused work and eliminate distractions. Traditionally, each cubicle enclosed a single employee and kept them separated enough from other coworkers to discourage socialization during work hours. While workplace privacy is still necessary in some forms, we’re glad to say goodbye to traditional office cubicles.
Now, many modern offices are embracing the open plan layout which usually consists of one large, shared work area for the whole team. This layout is ideal for most businesses because it encourages collaboration between employees within the same department, as well as other departments within your organization. Effective collaboration not only improves productivity, but also promotes successful team-building. With this layout, you can have shared office benching, collaborative, lounge-style furniture or even the reinvented cubicles that house a small team of employees rather than just one.
#2. Rise in flexible work schedules
Remote work had always been considered progressive – or in a more negative connotation – lazy. Up until COVID-19 hit in 2020, many office executives were not in favor of remote working capabilities. Whether it was a lack of trust between employees, or the fear that productivity would slip, business owners feared that the state of their organization would suffer if they allowed the option for remote work. However, in the height of COVID-19, mandatory shutdowns gave businesses no choice but to allow remote working or flexible work schedules where different teams of employees would come in on alternating weeks. Fortunately, this opened the eyes for a lot of people regarding the benefits of flexible work schedules. Productivity soared for many companies because people were happier to spend a little more time with their families at home, which in turn made them want to be more productive at work. Not to mention, business owners were saving money on building operating costs with less people in the office.
However, there is one downside to flex work schedules and that is a lack of connection. Some people went from seeing their coworkers everyday from 9am to 5pm, to not at all. Going from one extreme to another isn’t good either because it creates a sense of loneliness and uncertainty with where you stand at work which can create strain on your employees’ mental health. Throughout our experience designing workspaces for many companies post-COVID, we’ve found that the most successful offices are those that incorporate a hybrid working model, i.e. both remote working capabilities, as well as in person work each work. This allows employees to have that freedom and flexibility to be more present with their families, and keeps the bonds strong between core work teams.
To learn more about how BE Furniture can change your workplace for the better in 2023, please give us a call today. Our in-house team of modern office specialists are constantly evaluating the latest workplace trends, technology and furniture to create complete business environments that solve issues within your organization. We not only design offices, we design cultures that promote employee productivity, wellness and connection. Visit our website today: https://www.befurniture.com/