The Modern Era Of Architects And Designers
While architects are mostly known for creating unique architecture that reflects their styles, many are starting to take on a new responsibility. Not only would architecture now be just about aesthetics, but instead also creating an environment centered around the user's needs and behaviors. Architects are expanding upon their concepts of architecture, connecting the ideals of building performance to the human experience. It comes as no surprise that we are reevaluating the ideas of office design and architecture in this new change.
Why Good Office Architecture
Ever had that stuffy feeling in your office building and unable to get any work done? Yes, we all have that terrible day, but what makes us feel that way in the office? Recent studies have shown that an office’s architecture has an enormous impact on your employees’ well-being, productivity, and engagement level. Good workplace practices and organizational culture are almost synonymous with the architectural design of a building. Big companies like Airbnb and Facebook, to name a few, can see this relationship of their office space and staff. It’s not surprising that these companies are willing to invest heavily in office design.
Change is the only constant in the workforce of any industry; more so in this modern era as more millennials are joining it. This future workforce prefers collaborative effort, teamwork, and meeting new people within a workplace than just a 9-5 desk-bound setting. That said, what exactly are employees looking out for within an office architecture and in a growing, fast-paced environment?
With the idea of co-working gaining momentum, offices are shifting towards this trend. Open spaces with shared furnishings in offices are gaining popularity, with workplaces having fewer barriers between desks. Dedicating free space in the office that allows for collaborative discussions to take place in that space. A lack of walls or other physical obstacles in open-plan office spaces makes it easier for employees to interact with each other regularly.
In recent findings, overall productivity and happiness of employees have shown to increase if we look after their welfare. However, how do companies change their office space to make work well-being better for all levels of staff, including higher management? Using nature as an element of the design is one such method. Be it increasing the amount of light, incorporating more natural plants, or opting for more natural materials and colors in the furnishings and spaces. Natural elements act as productivity boosters for workers while making the environment more relaxed and less stressful.
Personalization is an alternative solution. Giving employees resources to use to decorate their work stations with personal items (e.g., cork boards as table dividers for staff to pin their notes or photos on). It gives them a sense of belonging to the office than just another isolated work location. Changing up the colors and lighting in the office can be a good move too. Rather than the usual monochromatic colors and white light, natural colors, such as blue, green, and brown, can help create a more peaceful and calm environment. Orange and warm tones can help to make the work-space more vibrant and energetic.
Lastly, healthy well-being is never complete without good food and an active lifestyle. Companies are opting for more dynamic movement with more unobstructed pathways between work stations and floor levels. This concept encourages their employees to move more between tables or meeting rooms for discussions and projects, while decking snacks/food stations with healthier food options.
Office Space Flexibility
In an era of rising freelance workers and fast-growing companies, shared office space would allow for effective re-configuring of workstations or rooms to cope with these needs. Employees can easily convert into a different area for other purposes without the need to incur extra costs or time in the reconfiguration.
This configuration can be achieved mostly through sliding walls/partitions and mobile furnishings. We can reconfigure the office furniture for new staff or discussion purposes. Employees can benefit from this by adjusting their work stations to their needs while having more privacy at the same time. The need for a change of pace to keep things fresh and productive.
Developing Office Designs
The list does not stop there. Most offices these days are still exploring new and creative ways to spice up their office design to encourage productivity. If there’s an uncertainty of where to start your office design update, Google would be an excellent source of inspiration. The giant tech company is always seen as a leader in innovative architecture and interior design, having many exciting concepts in the office, like a slide that runs beside a staircase. Google can identify what their workforce’s wants and needs are and provide them through their office design. Other large companies like Microsoft and LEGO started following similar methodologies to replicate's Google's model of success.
Keywords like “fun,” “enjoyment,” and “engaging” are some of the common themes and design direction that many modern office spaces and architecture are following in recent times. A well-designed work-place can drastically improve employee performance, satisfaction, and well-being. Designers must create environments that are engaging, full of life, and light, so companies retain their employees for much more extended periods.