Commercial and office environments have changed a great deal over the last 30 years, and the pace of change shows no sign of slowing. Pressure to achieve more with less real estate, along with new workspace technologies that bring flexibility to when, where and how knowledge work is carried out, are shifting the way space is used and inhabited by modern organisations. Businesses that can manage and take advantage of these changes are seeing the benefit in terms of improved processes, cost reduction and greater productivity.
Space rationalisation has given rise to a shift towards open plan offices, while concepts of agile and flexible working mean that modern environments are increasingly divided around different tasks rather than allocated to individuals and teams. Longer working hours and the rise of mobile, flexible and always-connected communications and collaboration tools and devices have led to a blurring of the boundaries of offices, homes, and ‘third’ space environments including cafes, libraries and other environments that are neither office or home.
Work is no longer a place that you go, but rather something that you do, and modern office environments are changing to reflect this different way of thinking. Traditional office environments are based around concepts of ‘ownership’ of desks and areas by individuals and teams, but in fact this may not be the most effective use of space.
Some organisations are finding that they benefit from organising spaces around different types of activity, with people and teams moving between different parts of the building to accomplish different tasks. This new working behaviour is supported by concepts such as hot desking, and the mobility that laptops, PDA devices and ubiquitous connectivity enable, breaking the fixed connection between individuals and desks.
Modern offices are providing ever more diverse types of spaces to facilitate different types of work. The influence of domestic interiors is now being seen very strongly in the office, as the importance of informal discussions, communication and collaboration grow. More emphasis is being put on kitchen and dining areas, breakout spaces and communal areas, as longer working hours and the need to attract and retain the best staff drive higher expectations of what a workplace should look and feel like.
At Claremont we understand that commercial workspaces need to continually evolve and adapt in order to reap the benefits of these new ways of working, and to compete successfully in the modern marketplace. It’s not a case of one-size-fits-all, but rather a careful consideration of each organisation, its people and their needs.
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We're excited about the future of work and the possibilities that new thinking, environments and technology provide.
If you'd like to find out more about some of the ideas that are driving workplace change, why not read our introductory
guide to agile working and the benefits it can bring to your organisation.
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