To celebrate Reckon’s new office move – to a modern, single level, multifunctional workspace in North Sydney which incorporates brainstorm nooks, multi-use spaces, an office-less structure and relaxation wings, we want to share some modern ways the office is being re-imagined.
Technology has changed rapidly, communication has evolved in leaps and bounds and the very work we do is a moving target, yet our workspaces remained stubborn for decades?
It took a while but businesses are finally understanding that the old cubicle setup is no longer cutting it. As the nature of work morphs so too should our workspace, right?
1) Activity based working
No, not ‘hot desking’, activity-based working (ABW) was created on the foundation that a workspace should change depending on the type of work a person is doing. An ABW designed office, such as ours, offers a mixture of desks, quiet rooms, telephone stalls and meeting rooms as well as multimedia rooms and relaxed brainstorming nooks. The result is the empowerment of staff to migrate around the office when necessary to work in a space that suits their needs, and their teams needs, for that day or that hour.
2) Flexible working
Mobile tech has cascaded and exploded and transformed and sharpened so much over the years it was really just a matter of time before the chains attaching you to your desk were discarded.
We have all heard of the digital nomad, but elements of this freedom have begun permeating the ‘office space’ as well. Widespread high-speed internet, powerful lightweight computers, mobile phones and all the apps a millennium could poke a usb stick at now dominate the workforce. So why not make the best use of them? Working from home, on the plane, in a taxi, on a beach… all can be done with the same output as toiling at the desk with the freedom and flexibility we now demand.
Just because your kid is home sick doesn’t mean you can’t work, just because you are needed at home to wait for a plumber, doesn’t mean you can’t work. Furthermore, being mobilised means the aforementioned activity based working sings so much louder – take your iPad into that meeting, have your phone in your pocket if an important call comes through, take a mobile scan of your whiteboard in the brainstorm nook to share and edit back at your desk… the limitations are gone and the productivity is up.
The result? Happier, healthier and more productive employees who focus on producing good work rather than simply arriving on the dot to work and leaving the office when their time is up.
3) Home style working
No, not working from home, but almost as comfortable. We spend most of our working hours in the office, why not make is as cosy as home?
This is a way of designing not just your office but also the way you treat your employees to create an environment with the creature comforts of home to ensure happy employees who even… like… being in the office.
You can create such an office through homely, relaxed decor and workplace benefits in order to cultivate an atmosphere which keeps employees in the working space while feeling at home (and valued). Create truly cosy corners of couches and cushions for employers to chill out in and flick through social media during downtime, buy a pool or ping pong table for recreation with coworkers, have a TV setup to play Netflix on lunch breaks and relax your standards for office wear.
This also goes for food and appliances; stock the fridge with fruit, bread, spreads, croissants and Friday beers. Your employees will feel they can graze the fridge, make a sandwich and spend more time in the office as they do not need to leave to grab food and coffee nearly as much. Grab a sandwich press, toasters and a coffee machine to enhance the options for your staff to hang in the office during meal breaks. You can go further with greenery walls and office plants, which make the space not only calmer and more relaxing but offers the undeniable productivity benefits of fresh oxygen.
What you will start to create by implementing and expanding on these home comforts is a workforce which stays longer in the office space, feels more rewarded, feels more comfortable and is noticeably less stressed. Output will shine.