Who can forget the classic 90s movie “Office Space?” The red stapler, the TPS reports, and, of course, that darn Fax machine and its incessant paper jams.
The Fax machine was pretty advanced technology back then, but things have changed a lot since “Office Space” was released in 1999. And it’s not just that the technology we’re using is more advanced, either. The entire concept of the workplace and we expect of it has evolved into something far different than Michael Bolton and the rest of the Initech gang could have ever imagined.
Telecommuting is so 2010. According to Forbes magazine, there are more than 11,000 coworking spaces operating in the U.S. and that number is expected to grow to more than 26,000 by 2020. They’re especially popular among millennials who enjoy these spaces for their networking opportunities, low costs, and shorter lease commitments. Keep an eye out for new developments in this rapidly growing area, including retail partnerships such as the one between WeWork, LinkedIn and J Crew that will feature popup shops and panel events.
Even though telecommuting and shared workspaces are popular, there’s still a need for traditional office space. However, closed-off layouts and massive furniture don’t cut it anymore. Today’s employees are looking for minimalism combined with a healthy dose of amenities. According to Inc. magazine, biophilic design elements such as rooftop gardens and plant walls continue to grow in popularity. Open spaces that encourage collaboration are also a must for many employers. Finally, amenities such as wellness centers and concierge services are very attractive to employees who are finding themselves spending more time at the office.
The “Smart Buildings” concept was born out of a desire to make structures more energy efficient, and it’s paid off in many ways. As more and more devices are connected through the IoT, we will continue to see the benefits for both facilities managers as well as employees in the workplace. For example, IoT devices are being used to monitor air quality, which in turn impacts how productive workers are. A study by Environmental Health Perspectives showed workers are 101 percent more efficient when they work from buildings with good indoor air quality.
These are just a few of the trends you can expect to see coming soon to an office space near you. With all these cool innovations, you might not even mind it if this guy shows up and tells you he needs you to come in this weekend:
What trends are most exciting to you? Have you seen any of them being implemented where you work? Leave your comments below.
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