I think it can be safely noted that business is much different today than it was even fifteen years ago. Society is driven by technology, and businesses are too. It’s no longer enough to have four walls and a conference room, and with these new developments in the goals and methodologies businesses adhere comes new trends in business design. The design, feel, and fit of an office space can truly make or break an office’s performance. More than that, an office’s design must engender the same vision and mission as the business itself.
The big trends in office design today revolve around three core principles: consolidation, efficiency, and flexibility. Secondary factors to consider include allowing ergonomics and technology to flow naturally into the work space. Consolidation has become a particularly important aspect of modern business life. Teams must come together often from across the country or the world to meet deadlines and create plans. How can this consolidation happen seamlessly, without leaving employees feeling thrown together without a goal in mind? Technology becomes a great boon in these circumstances. More offices are setting up state-of-the-art technology centers, making these moments of collaboration easier to achieve in a virtual setting. We continue to see a trend of businesspeople traveling vast distances for group meetings. While the efficiency of this trend may be in question, a number of steps can be taken to make visitors feel a part of the team atmosphere. The industry calls it “hoteling”, as offices creates spaces for traveling visitors to store their things and make themselves a home away from home. Using brightly colored lockers and office partitions to engender this sense of camaraderie and personality can be helpful in creating a welcoming space, but is this the best way to consolidate a business?
This trend of consolidating departments is particularly interesting to me, as it seems the least efficient practice of them all. I know from personal experience the wear and tear constant travel has on employees. My father spent years traveling weekly from his business’s central location in North Carolina to Minnesota for meetings with his entire department, half of whom were based out of each city. While “hoteling” certainly makes life a little easier for such individuals, perhaps the better option looks less like this and more like teleconferencing and creating collaborative spaces in a central location.
The latter can be accomplished easily and without much hassle. Let’s return to the remaining core trending principles: flexibility and efficiency. MacBride Office Furniture is particularly skilled in the art of matching companies with cubicles and office furniture that meet these needs. Flexible spaces include those that can easily be moved to fit the ever-changing needs of the business. Efficient spaces achieve the same goal, and make not only the best use of employee time and energy, but office space as well.
So, whether your office is looking for new ways to make office partitions work for you, or if you’re hoping to consolidate your workforce keep in mind two things: Be efficient with your workers, and flexible with your workspace.