Today’s workers are nomads, but our recent survey shows that tomorrow’s workers are less likely to be. Those who completed our Summer 2016 Happy Office survey showed a preference for working in the office as opposed to working remotely. For example, 66% of the UK workforce believe they are most productive working in an office compared with a quarter who say they are most productive working at home. In addition, over half of people who worked away from the office said they feel stressed and disconnected from their colleagues.
As businesses tackle the challenge of a disparate and disconnected workforce, we look at how offices are evolving to help tempt staff back to the office.
Fostering the new collaboration
Businesses are re-thinking the open plan aspect of offices to address ‘the new collaboration’, facilitating enhanced integration, not just among teams but through the company from junior to senior levels. Expect more team ‘cluster working’ with the emphasis on collaboration and connectivity. The rise of more socially engaging workplaces will continue and shared working areas will form a key part of this.
The office as a playground
Businesses may think twice at the prospect of installing a playground in the office, however research shows that all staff need engaging and fun working environments to keep them motivated and productive. Some of the world’s leading companies now boast slides, aquariums, table tennis, games and music rooms to attract top talent to the office and this trend is only set to strengthen.
Era of trust
With over half of today’s workers saying they wish they were more trusted by their companies, we can expect the freedom to roam to arrive at the workplace. Designated desks will remain for some, but the future office will have a greater variety of desks on offer – stand up desks and desks that fit together like jigsaw pieces will be commonplace as they are best suited to fast- growth businesses.
Rise of the at-home office
Progressive businesses recognise that the best way to keep workers productive and motivated is to create a home away from home. As businesses attempt to entice workers back to the office, providing home comforts will be vital. Fully-fitted kitchens will increasingly be the norm and we expect nap rooms, sleeping pods and TV or games areas to become regular features in offices. Even though the prospect of encouraging employees to nap throughout the day may raise eyebrows, the break away from traditional working styles gives rise to these new concepts. Novelties such as office pets and massage rooms will also become staples of the future office as people begin to cultivate a more comfortable work environment.
Implementing the internet of things
Over the next few decades, the office will become completely connected, allowing workers to be at their most productive and for workplaces to operate at the highest efficiency. The workplace will be wired for all devices and constantly fine-tuned for connectivity, so that the comfort of employees is always prioritised to maximise productivity.
Health over wealth
Recent research suggests that inactive office workers face serious health risks, so the drive to provide healthier offices is one of the most significant trends today. This will strengthen over the next few decades and bike racks, shower rooms and in-house yoga classes will become more common. With one in six workers experiencing mental health issues every year, workplace mental health will also take centre stage.
Businesses will become more mindful that buzzing collaboration areas are perfect for some staff, but can be destructive for those who crave quiet pods and booths. Overall though, tomorrow’s workers will enjoy the healthiest offices ever.
To read more about our findings and the results we discovered, check out our summer survey results blog for the Equation of a Happy Office.
Please insert a valid email