How do today’s office spaces support employees?
The features of modern offices today are almost unrecognisable when compared to those from 20 years ago. Companies both in Ireland and abroad have adapted to the changing aspects of the modern office and with the expansion of multinational corporations into Europe, it is not surprising that they are bringing their company culture and signature office features along with them.
Offices defining features are changing constantly to support employee engagement and success, these changes have been driven by continuous technological advancement and a greater need to work in a more open, dynamic working environment. We take a look at the current defining features of today’s modern office and gain some insight into the reasons behind these specific aspects.
Ergonomic furniture and environment
Today our working styles mean that movement can become scarce. Ergonomic furniture is essential to a healthy, modern workplace and countless studies have shown that ergonomic furniture such as sit-to-stand desks and soundproof phone booths can increase both productivity and efficiency, as well as improve our overall health. Ergonomics has become an important aspect of co-sharing office spaces. Kensington carried out a study of ergonomics in a modern office environment which saw 38 per cent of respondents rating it as ‘very important’. Further proving its importance, an additional 33 per cent of those surveyed saw it as ‘important’ to have in a work environment.
Ireland has seen the demand increase for flexible and collaborative workspaces in recent years. Offices today are not as basic as “one-size-fits-all” and are often adjusted to suit the needs of the types of businesses and employees that occupy them. Each employee works differently and modern office spaces should reflect this, different workspace environments should be provided to suit a variety of needs that businesses have. CBRE research has shown that “as much as 17% of office take-up in Dublin in the first quarter of this year was accounted for by co-working/flexible operators” which shows that more and more businesses are seeing the importance of flexibility in the workplace.
Technology has become a key player in productivity which is why in today’s modern office environment it is often assumed that companies will provide employees with laptops, tablets and mobile phones in order to continuously stay connected and improve communication. Employees can be constantly connected and can work from anywhere without issues. This is one of the perks graduates expect when joining the workforce today and makes flexible working and remote working much easier. Technology has also helped teams collaborate more easily in a virtual sense through document sharing, team management and editing software.
Modern office spaces need to create flexible space that is productive as well as comfortable. Companies are constantly expanding and with this expansion brings change to the way people want to work. Modern offices have had to adapt to the needs of their workers as flexible working has become the new norm.
As well as flexible workspace, employees often expect flexible working hours in order to maintain a work-life balance and will often see a shift away from the more traditional 9 to 5.
Employees want an office space that will adapt to suit the different tasks they work on each week. They need the flexibility to be able to move to a huddle room for a quick brainstorm and to collaborate, or have access to a quieter area if their work demands a noise free environment. Office design is now more important than ever when supporting productivity and creativity.
Companies are investing in the wellness of their staff as they have begun to realise that employees stay much more focused and miss less days due to illness when they are healthy. In today’s modern office, yoga and mindfulness programmes are increasingly popular and can be quite effective with reducing stress. It is important that companies provide a more focused approach to the wellbeing of employees as they will see that if workers are happy and healthy, productivity will increase. Along with wellness and mindfulness, modern offices promote healthy eating initiatives and even provide healthy snacks and drinks on-site and on-demand, with many also providing on-site gyms and showers.
Companies who are getting it right
HubSpot was recently honoured as one of the “Best Places to Work in 2018” in the Glassdoor Employees’ Award. Their Dublin office space features perks such as a fitness room, library and other quiet rooms, on-site pub with draught beer and arcade games, and rooftop terrace. Hubspot also take the importance of ergonomic furniture into account, all of the desks in the space are electronic and can convert from sitting to standing at the push of a button. The office is equipped with a variety of conference rooms, collaboration spaces and flexible nomad desks so that employees can choose the space they work best in.
Workday is a fortune five hundred company and has been voted one of the top one hundred best places to work in 2018. The US headquartered company offers its employees a modern workspace while also providing complimentary snacks and fruit daily, offsite office retreats, and internal events. The company also provides on-site fitness room and subsidised gym membership, reimbursed bike to work scheme, collaborative workspaces, and a rooftop terrace.
Facebook is known for valuing its employees and they do so by offering a unique, modern workspace to their staff. The building provides an in-house café with large open spaces to allow teams to relax and work collaboratively. There are a number of video conference rooms and interactive booking systems outside each door that allow employees to stay connected and easily contact all of Facebook’s offices around the world. Individuals can book private booths to make calls, or work in a noise-free environment if it is required, and they also offer sit down and standing desks for ultimate ergonomic comfort.
As the demand for modern work spaces and the developments in technology continues, companies can implement some of these changes or source a coworking office space that will help them attract and retain the best talent out there.
At Glandore, we create modern office spaces so that our members can do their very best and most productive work. Find out more about our flexible workspaces & coworking office space in Dublin, Belfast and Cork here.