When it comes to office buildings, the notion of interior design is undergoing a drastic change.
Many of us spend a majority of our working lives in office spaces, and it is because of this that the impacts of these interior environments are so thoroughly explored. The way these spaces are designed influence our mood, health and productivity, lending great importance to using techniques to maximise the impacts of design.
However, the office building itself is facing a major threat in the form of workplace flexibility.
In a growing number of modern workplaces, flexibility and untraditional working hours are logical steps in optimising employee efficiency. If it takes an employee an hour to get to work in peak hour traffic but 20 minutes off-peak, he or she will often begin the work day later. Working from home is also increasingly encouraged.
This flexibility enables employees to tailor their working life to what works best for them, creating greater work enjoyment and, in most cases, increasing productivity. There is, however, concern that this reliance on home or out-of-office work stations will deem the traditional office building obsolete. This worry has some truth to it, though it is not entirely the case.
We are most definitely seeing the decline of the traditional workplace. It is, however, being replaced by other options.
With so many individuals taking on unconventional and flexible working hours, along with factors such as energy efficiency and green office mentalities, traditional office blocks no longer need to be so strict.
One industry company that has taken these factors into consideration is the GTP group, who have recently finished the redevelopment of their head office. In creating a space for a modern workforce, allocated seating, desks and work spaces have been eliminated in favour of an open-planned layout model that workers are able to use in its entirety. Though the layout initially seemed to be an alien concept within the workforce, the end result has been labelled by Robert Hitchcock of GTP as a ‘library-like atmosphere’ where the sharing of innovation and working proactively are the norm.
In addition, greenery has been introduced to the workplace on a large scale, with a boost in air quality due to a maximisation of fresh air filtered through a window ventilation system. The entire working space is also as cordless and paperless and possible, allowing for easy mobility, with employees able to keep their working documents on laptops and electronic notepads.
This is a key element in the modern workforce, with technology driving this newfound flexibility.
It is important to note that the workplace is not dying. Instead, it is evolving. By tailoring interior working environments to the needs and wishes of employees, money and resources can be saved and productivity boosted due to the flexibility involved.