Replacing isolated cubicles and partitions, more open and flexible offices have emerged. With the evolving demands of employees and trends, the requirements for the work environment are changing as well. Offices of progressive companies are transforming and evolving to keep up with the rapid changes in employee needs and technological advancements. What are the defining characteristics of an exemplary office in 2023?
Rethinking the Workspace in 2023: Emphasizing Socialization and Quality
- Attention to public infrastructure is crucial. Nowadays, it’s not enough to have an office, even if it’s the most modern and advanced one. It is important for it to be located in a dynamic area where life is buzzing: with convenient transportation links and all the amenities of civilization nearby, such as beauty salons, restaurants, shops, parks, and other familiar and essential locations for city dwellers, just like the air they breathe.
- The individual is the new most important amenity in the workplace. Nobody wants to come to an office that feels empty. They come for personal interaction, which is significantly more effective than online meetings. People have missed live communication and happily return to the pleasant hustle and bustle of the office and the lively voices of colleagues. This calls for an enhanced focus on acoustic design because meticulous insulation from external noise is essential for focused work.
- The priority of a modern office is mentorship and learning opportunities. The effectiveness of learning, development, and growth decreases in online formats due to a lack of feedback. This is especially important for younger professionals. Physical presence matters when it comes to fulfilling leadership responsibilities by senior employees and achieving progress by junior ones. Each work environment should include professionally designed areas focused on communication, collaboration, building corporate culture, and networking. This trend will continue to gain momentum.
- Emphasis on quality. People are becoming increasingly demanding, and when choosing a workplace, they prioritize the level of the work environment provided by the company. Employees want to work in well-designed, comfortable, and technologically advanced workspaces. Such offices offer unique daily experiences that make the time spent commuting worthwhile.
- The must-have of today is access to open space in the workplace. Offices are being equipped with terraces, and there is a trend of transforming office building lobbies into covered or open terraces and conference rooms. Biophilic design is now an essential element of modern offices by default.
- A new interpretation of the cubicle system. The cubicle is no longer a marker of prestige or higher hierarchical belonging for an individual who works in it. The new cubicle system is used by companies where cubicles are needed for confidentiality and maximum concentration. It is in demand in firms specializing in financial auditing, for example. Typically, the new format cubicles accommodate several employees from the same department. The classical cubicle system is now more of an exception. It is usually combined with open spaces for creative departments or as spaces for collective communication, creating hybrid workspaces.
- In Ukraine, due to the ongoing war, one of the reevaluations is the necessity of having a bomb shelter in the office. The new building standards are still in the process of development, but the reality is that business owners are concerned about the safety of their employees, and the demand for office designs equipped with bomb shelters is increasing.
The current office meets the full range of needs of a fastidious employee accustomed to comfort. People crave communication with colleagues and mentors, socialization is more important to them than ever, and they get it in the workplace. A massive return to the office format of work is our given and the near future. Therefore, it is worth taking care of the return of employees to a truly well-equipped office, as much as possible focused on their comfort and fruitful work.