Despite the fact that more than 70 percent of businesses in the US have open-offices, the shortcomings of the design plan are now more than evident. From lacking privacy to limiting creativity, to being distractive, the ‘openoffice movement’ has met with diverse allegations, gradually leading to the evolution of a more holistic concept: hybrid office design. The new approach embraces the natural ease and flexibility of open-offices, while retaining some of the elements of a traditional office setup, such as enclosed cubicles, cabins and discussion rooms, to fill the voids left by the progressive approach.
Let’s take a look at what all constitutes a hybrid workspace.
Elements of the Future Office
For all the demonization cubicles went through when open-offices gained prominence, it is quite surprising to see them bounce back. The lesson that has been learnt in their absence is that private spaces are essential in most work environments. Moreover, people who, by virtue of their designation, feel they ought to have a private space, don't take kindly to the feeling of being stripped naked, that comes with open office designs. In fact, many people find open-office design dictatorial, which makes the return of cubicles a welcome development.
Soundproof booths are also an essential for the office of the future as they provide ideal spaces for team huddles, one-on-one meetings, phone calls, and other activities. Merge Works manufactures an array of acoustic panels to cater for this need.
Conference rooms remain relevant although the design has somewhat changed greatly over the years. The new conference room for the flexible office has to be agile and feature dividable partitions that allow the changing of the size of spaces to cater to different activities and numbers of people. Other considerations include furniture, which has to be stackable and flexible so as to fit various configurations of the room.
The office of the future must be able to allow collaboration, teamwork, and working individually as and when the need arises. This calls for movable furniture that can be constituted into an open office layout and flexible enough to allow people to work individually when there is no need for collaboration or teamwork. Items such as office desk dividers, acoustic desk dividers, Enclave Panels, and Urban Walls, among others, help achieve this feat.
Ergonomics also comes into play with solutions such as height adjustable desks and chairs being more prominent. A few free stations can be set aside to allow people to periodically move stations and work in a standing position or check their work briefly before or between meetings. The workplace of the future allows employees to work from wherever they wish with no permanent workstation per se. This allows for an environment where introverts and extroverts can both thrive.
Embrace the Future, Today!
The office of the future is already here, and as you can expect, it borrows a lot from various concepts to give you a functional design boasting the best of both new and old worlds. Make a deliberate effort to adopt an office design that has a positive impact on productivity, employee health, creativity, collaboration, privacy, acoustics, and other important elements. Apart from the layout, you need to work with a furniture manufacturer like Merge Works to craft your office of the future. Talk to us today for information on furniture options that go well with your workspaces or custom solutions. We manufacture state-of-the-art furniture and accessories for the modern workplace and serve many industries.