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Designing The Office Of The Future 

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Designing The Office Of The Future 

The workplace changes that the pandemic brought in are not going away and has monumentally transformed the traditional workplace. The office is not just a place people come to spend their 9 to 5’s and leave at the end of the day. It is a place with a purpose – to connect, share, engage, learn and so much more, that it is almost like a second home to the employees and a physical extension of the brand itself.  

Harkel Office, a key player in functional and contemporary office design through providing unique furniture solutions, understands that the office of the future is expected to be more flexible, dynamic, and wellness-focused. In this article, we take a look at how companies are rethinking the conventional office layout, and integrating innovation and technology to create the office of the future.  

Designed & Built With A Purpose 

Thought leaders and successful organizations realize the importance of office buildings as a place to nurture talent, inspire creativity, and foster employee well-being, which leads to greater productivity. This is why the modern day office is no longer just a freestanding physical structure but a functional space that is designed and built having a purpose. A well-designed office space utilizes every corner and element of the office building for maximum functionality and greater comfort for the occupants, so that it becomes an unforgettable experience for the employees and visitors.  

It Starts From The Outside 

Since purpose is a common theme built into the office of the future, you will experience it even before you step into the office of the future. Apart from having striking elevation, curb appeal with lots of greenery, outdoor necessities such as ample parking, or smart office features such as personalized voice-over greetings when you insert your ID or step into your office, are some of the things that make you feel good as you enter your future office. 

Every Minute Detail Matters 

Two of the things grossly overlooked in traditional office spaces are the design and functionality aspects of the office building. In the office of the future, attention to detail is of utmost importance so that it elevates and personalizes the experience of every individual in the building. From choosing the appropriate colours to ambient lighting, ergonomic furniture, accessibility features, right down to the office smell – all of it plays a significant role in increasing employee satisfaction and ultimately yielding greater productivity. 

Understanding One Size Doesn’t Fit All 

The office of the future is designed on the concept that “One Size Doesn’t Fit All”. It promotes diversity and inclusivity while accommodating the needs of all employees regardless of their backgrounds, skills, personalities, or abilities. For instance, while some workers may thrive in an open office environment, others may require quiet spaces with minimal distractions to get the work done. The modern office is designed in a way that offers both to every employee depending on their particular needs. Buildings, floors, or spaces can be designated for different purposes such as training centres, creative spaces, quiet zones, meeting rooms, break rooms, and so on. Using nomenclature like these in the office building communicates the purpose, shapes employee behaviour, and yields better performance and employee satisfaction. 

Accommodating The Hybrid Or Remote Workforce 

With office building vacancy rates at an all-time high and many employees opting for flexible work, it has become nothing short of a challenge to bring back employees to the physical office. While hybrid and work from home work is still reigning the modern work culture, companies realize that one of the motivating reasons to make employees come to the workplace is the physical proximity and socialization aspect it offers. And this holds especially true for the younger workforce or employees in their early careers who want to belong somewhere and improve their skills. 

While technology plays a great part in connecting hybrid and remote workers through zoom calls, team meetings, and so on, the traditional approach of hands-on learning still remains unbeatable as senior leaders pass on their knowledge to the next hierarchy of employees. 

Encouraging Team Building And Socialization 

Some argue that simply bringing back employees to the workplace is not enough. People can be in the same place and still feel disconnected from each other. How can the future office tackle this? For employees to engage and connect with each other, it is essential to cultivate a sense of purpose and shared goal among them. Companies can achieve this by creating spaces that highlight the history, goals, achievements, and values of the company, or holding annual corporate events, gala nights, and so on. To strengthen team bonding, companies can facilitate socialization by having snack bars, coffee rooms, fitness centres, and others that encourage employees to mingle and talk to each other instead of just being occupied on their phones. 

A Dynamic Workspace 

While the use of artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and smart devices will undoubtedly play a significant role in shaping the office of the future, the key thing about the future workspace is to make it as flexible and modular as possible to meet the ever changing needs of the modern workplace.  

When you step into a thoughtful office space these days, apart from the floor and the ceilings, you will notice all the rest is actually just furniture that is well-designed, functional, and aesthetic. From ergonomic office seating to movable desks and even partition walls, the contemporary office is designed in a way that enhances comfort while being easily adjustable.  

Creating Sustainable And Healthier Buildings 

When it comes to the office of the future, you can be sure to find sustainability is of paramount importance. Reputed and leading companies incorporate sustainability in the form of design, material, and vendor selection. Several of today’s office buildings already have Building Automation Systems that work to create energy-efficient and healthier work environments for the occupants through automated HVAC, lighting, security, and detection. In the future, using artificial intelligence and data analytics, it may be possible to create even smarter office buildings that have biometric markers. These can enable the office building to know your personality and your personal office schedule so that it delivers you a personalized office experience that is much richer than your traditional day at the office.  

As the global workplace has vastly changed into a new paradigm, it is the ultimate time for organizations to rethink their office space into the office of the future – a healthy and balanced work environment that boosts employee engagement and satisfaction, thereby improving productivity and reducing downtime.  

Harkel Office is a leading furniture dealership based in Vaughan and serving the GTA and surrounding areas to deliver custom furniture that fits all your employees’ needs. Reach out to us if you want to reimagine your workplace for the future and create a healthy and well-designed office space.  

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