The emergence of new technologies, changes in employee needs and the recent pandemic have forever changed the look and function of the modern office. Gone are the days of commuting to the office, sitting at your cubicle, getting your work done and going home. Nowadays, work is more flexible, collaborative, and can be easily done outside of a traditional office environment.
For property owners, workspace designers and HR departments,the challenge is in figuring out how people work and interact with each other to create a space that is purpose-driven, fosters a healthy office culture and positively influences our output. Thankfully, research over the past few decades analysing the where, why and how of people’s work lives means that we now know more than ever about what motivates us as employees, and in turn promotes productivity.
At BOOQED, we regularly talk about proptech trends and the rise of remote working, but there is one recurring theme that pops up again and again – that a large majority of the corporate world is outgrowing the physical office.
But does this mean that the future office is going to be that postcard image of a digital nomad working from their laptop by the pool with a drink in their hand?
Numerous companies have already made the leap to a remote or hybrid workforce, and are seeing the benefits of giving up their lease. But before you ditch the physical office altogether and dive head first into an all-remote business model, you need to understand…
The physical office isn’t dead, just different
Common features of future offices show flexibility and are purpose-driven.The spaces themselves will take different forms, from open office plans featuring neighbourhood zones designated by discipline, coworking spaces, and even working out of dedicated work pods.
To break it down further:
Neighbourhood zones in an open office
Open offices have their merits – without the dividing panels and private offices, communication and hierarchical barriers are broken down which can have a positive effect on teamwork and creativity. But if not properly designed, they can become distracting and disruptive. By adding neighbourhood zones within an open office, each team can work from its own common room and meeting rooms which can be customized according to their discipline.
Micro neighbourhoods understand that a company’s teams require different functions whilst still allowing providing a space for team members to easily interact and collaborate. Even Microsoft redesigned its campus in this fashion in 2016, and it seems to be working!
An office focused around activity-based working has designed the workspace in a way that offers separate sections within the office designed for a particular function. This style of work allows employees to choose from a variety of different workspaces that best support the work they are doing on any given day.
Whether you need a quiet place to focus, or an open breakout area to have a team brainstorm, the office will have a specific area designed to suit that type of work.
Coworking spaces are not a foreign concept at BOOQED, and there’s a reason why we work so hard to make coworking spaces accessible to the wider community! The concept of a shared workspace is to create a space that people can go to work and still experience the open community associated with a traditional office.
Coworking has become widely popular over the last decade or so, and despite a few speed bumps, companies are now starting to wake up to the value of having a flexible workspace, so we don’t see it going away anytime soon!
Dedicated work pods
Over the last year, COVID-10 has pushed most companies to rethink the way they use space, and consider how they can best optimize space for collaboration and productivity whilst integrating technology to maximize efficiency (and social distancing for now).
That’s why we built QUBIC, a work pod with the latest access control technology and customizable branding options. QUBIC allows companies to transform underutilized space within a building and create a dedicated flexible quiet workspace that employees can use at any time. The pod is also supported by a web app to conduct real-time booking, pod management, and usage analytics.
Want to work in an office of the future?
If you want to see what the workspace of the future looks like for yourself, reach out to the BOOQED team today. We work with over a hundred amazing coworking spaces in Hong Kong, and have just launched Qubic, a dedicated work pod, with more on the way. Our team is happy to answer any questions you might have about whether an office of the future is right for you and your team! PS: the answer is probably yes.