And tomorrow ?

The physical transformation of companies: the six latest trends in office life


What if the work environment was the prime factor influencing employee engagement? This was the conclusion of a study carried out by Steelcase-Ipsos, published in February 2016, presenting how a better work environment is essential in the improvement of performance. Business transformation is not just digital, it is also physical as firms respond to changing needs for mobility, flexibility or well being in the workplace.  So what is the new office going to be like in the future? Find out more about the six major trends.

More mobile offices

The concentration of housing and work in large centralized sites is becoming a thing of the past.  There is a shift towards decentralization due to real estate constraints and the development of mobile tools. Another study, carried out by Softchoice, shows that 70% of employees are ready to change their job for one that allows for more frequent remote working. From co-working to home offices, the mobility of workers is gaining ground.

More modular offices

The split between single offices and open space is over: tomorrow’s office will be modular. Private and shared spaces, meeting rooms of various shapes and sizes, call boxes with sound insulation, business lounges, brainstorming rooms and so on, employees no longer have to adapt to the workplace but the workplace adapts to employees’ needs. Even furniture itself is more modular, with tactile and flexible screens or adjustable height desks for seating or standing.

More technological offices

French companies are having trouble shifting to digital work, as France is ranked 26th worldwide for IT use according to the Network Readiness Index 2015. Yet, nomad working and flexibility will necessarily involve widespread access to mobile technologies and continuous updating. Tomorrow’s office will not only have interconnected tools and dedicated mobile applications, it will be stuffed with smart systems that regulate luminosity and heat depending on occupancy.

More collaborative offices

The study « Strategy drives digital transformation » shows that digitally mature enterprises have a collaborative culture bent on innovation. The results suggest a steady blurring of the separation between services and a reorganization of staff around a new vision and shared projects. One particularly motivating factor is the need to be part of a motivated supportive team, as shown by the study by Citric-Ifop, in which 73% of students questioned expressed this desire.

More feelgood offices

Well being in the work environment is now considered a driver for growth and a major part of any corporate social responsibility policy. It will result in the evolution of workspace, the design and organization of which creates a comfortable place to work and improves the day-to-day work life of employees.   With more colour, light and comfort, tomorrow’s office will provide space to unwind and rest, such as lounges, terraces and gardens, as well as services and events that encourage interaction and creativity.

More ecological offices

Businesses are increasingly concerned about integrating sustainability into their operations to save energy. They insist on quality, high performance buildings that comply with the latest environmental standards. Their concern affects the choice of materials used for their furniture as well as integrated technological innovations.

For a pdf version of the Steelcase-Ipsos Steelcase-Ipsos survey on engagement and the work environment

By WordAppeal

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