Office 3.0: Future of Modern Workplace
Since the pandemic the workplace has shifted from just a binary space with shiny laptops, desks and meeting rooms to a metaphysical area with its own philosophy. Attention is now turning to the workspace of the future – what will new employees want and need from their company? Let’s dive into the future of offices with the Head of Marketing AdChampagne – Andrew Bobrow.
Why Do We Need Offices? The Decrease in Demand for Workplace
Due to COVID-19, people began to realise a considerable amount of the work that usually takes place in offices can also be done at home. Some have discovered they can be more productive while working from home, enjoying solitude and tranquility. Although, the office remains a vital anchor of the company.
In May 2020, Twitter and Facebook both announced that they would move forward with changes that let much of their staff to work remotely permanently. Others including Dropbox, Zillow, Shopify and many more have followed them.
Nowadays companies can live with less office space and focus on modern, flexible areas. They concentrate more on services or alternatives - free dress code, contemporary paintings and soft furnishings. Thus, office parks become a destination to meet colleagues, get inspiration and share ideas, rather than just to sit at a desk and look into a monitor.
Tomorrow Office Design: Weird is Normal
The pandemic has strongly changed ingrained traditions in the labour market, shifting of places and processes is still ongoing. Many companies are redesigning their headquarters around team pods including chairs, tables, whiteboards, storage units, and other resources that can be quickly rearranged to meet the team's current needs, sometimes spaces form a festival zones with interactive and compelling zones.
All this relates to the philosophy 'life at office is not all about work'. Little details are important to introduce an element of emotions. Google tries out new interior components in its millions of square feet of area, such as robots and inflatable balloons. That’s a technique for adding new dynamism to once-stagnant and stuffy formal spaces.
Another case study, Inventionland, creates a pirate ship sitting in a body of real water (with a fake shark) for developers of high-tech products and games. It also would be interesting to make a little office garden with cherry tomatoes and basil where workers can calm and relax. Another idea is to pour sand and create a little, man-made beach in the workplace. It might not be so easy to bring the sea to your office – you can just have a projector with broadcasting. Although, there is no fireplace in AdChampagne, last winter we did the same with a projector.
Focus on Wellbeing: Physical and Mental Health for Office Workers
According to the Made of Millions Foundation, depression of employees costs US companies $210bn a year, besides, it affects productivity and quality of work, as well as increases the possibility of early retirement. As reported by the World Health Organisation, every dollar invested in the treatment of mental disorders is returned to companies in the form of $4 and increased job performance. Special wellbeing-programs monthly allow employers to save $136 for each individual worker.
There is no doubt office is a big portion of our lives, a place for socialising, making friends or even partners for life. That’s why it’s crucial to help people have great job satisfaction, productivity, and a sense of belonging. Many HR departments in large companies have become almost like mental health consultants. They try to take care of the employees and prevent them from being burnt out or stressed.
There are different solutions employers and HR leaders can implement to support the wellbeing of their employees:
- Physical activities: outdoor exercises, morning meditations or discounted gym membership
- Healthy food options and lectures by nutrition experts
- Collaborations with online-meditation platforms like Headspace or Insight Timer
- In-office Psychologists, Doctors and Massage Therapists
- Regular Team Buildings, Webinars and Virtual Meetings
- Quiet Spaces to Individual Work
Promoting a culture of wellbeing is a forward-thinking investment in employees, shaping new programs and initiatives, as well as steering the direction of existing ones. One thing is clear, remote and flexible working is now also the key element for company members happiness and fulfillment (not only because of COVID-19 impact, but due to employer branding and talent attraction).
Pet-friendly Policy on the Rise
Andrew, one of the co-founders of AdChampagne, is an owner of french bulldog himself. He faced the problem of leaving his furry friend at home all day, and actually it turned out that for a lot of people, it makes the workplace more enjoyable. Home pets offer standing companionship as well as emotional support, lots of offices today share their employees' love for animals (and we are no exception).
A research by LiveCareer found 94% of people support having pets in the workplace – even in a hybrid or part-time routine. Besides, it’s tremendously good for employees' health and wellbeing. Workers often take their dogs (and more rarely – cats) with them. Large employers sometimes encourage company members by helping cover costs for pet feed and even dog boarding when their owners go on vacation, this option is also an effective tool for recruiters, especially with younger generations.