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What You May Not Know About the Workplace Transformation

Due to unparalleled advances in technology, shifting demographics, and radical changes in workforce expectations, businesses across the globe are going through a significant upheaval. To thrive in these unprecedented times, countless organizations are seriously considering workplace transformation. In case you’re not aware, workplace transformation refers to the process of modernizing the workplace to allow flexible accommodation of various jobs, personnel, and technological ideas and tools.

Did you know that the largest segment in the workplace is comprised of millennials? We’re talking about the people who were born between 1981 and 1996. Aside from the fact that millennials are known to be lovers of technology, supporters of diversity in the workplace, and collaboration enthusiasts, they also find modern workplace design extremely appealing.

Top 3 Reasons Why the Workplace Needs to Transform

Top 3 Reasons Why the Workplace Needs to Transform

 

Did you know that a third of the respondents of a recent study on workplace transformation stated their desire to create a more productive workspace? They further cited the need for more mobility options and flexible spaces and how they will attract and retain the company’s best workers.

 

Complex and unstructured work

Whether you like it or not, technology is changing businesses daily because it impacts the way employees work and collaborate. The era of structured and process-oriented work is long gone, and automation and outsourcing are here to stay. Today’s work is more complex and creative because it doesn’t have a semblance of structure and requires more focus and collaboration.

 

Shift in demographics

Since an entire generation of skilled and experienced baby boomers are heading to retirement, companies across the globe need to make an effort to attract cohorts of workers who belong to Gen X, Y, and Z. The younger generations prefer to work with organizations that offer seamless technology, promote work/life balance, and feature workspaces that boost productivity. 

 

Unprecedented technological advances

The need to create a millennial-friendly workplace has never been more important than it is today. Aside from offering fast internet access, powerful mobile devices, and cloud-based applications, businesses must also look for other ways to adjust to the needs of their tech-savvy people. A workplace that fails to meet their employees’ needs and expectations at the push of a button will cause them to look for greener pastures. 

 

3 Major Principles that Drive Workplace Transformation

To get a clear picture of what workplace transformation is all about, you need to understand that the principles of engagement, collaboration, and optimization are the very foundations of this revolutionary movement. In other words, these are the guiding principles that dictate the digital and cultural changes of organizations that seek to meet the evolving needs of this new world of work.

 

Engagement 

Engagement refers to your employees’ emotional commitment to your company. Since engaged employees care about the company’s success, they are committed, enthusiastic, dedicated, and results-oriented. You know that you’re doing a good job at engaging your employees when they’re proud to be a part of the organization, they try to find ways to solve problems, they use their discretionary effort to keep their workstations clean. They stay behind to make sure that they get a job done. 

Cultivating a culture that focuses on employee engagement doesn’t happen overnight. The leaders of your organization would need to recognize the value of your employees and the impact that they have on the overall success of the business. How you treat your people and how you respond to their needs will drive and sustain their engagement.

The variety and flexibility of the workplace is a major factor in building an engaged culture. It’s much easier to keep your employee engaged if you make sure that their workplace supports the autonomy and well-being of your people.

 

Collaboration

Collaboration is another cultural value that needs to be embedded in your company’s fabric because it creates values employee expertise, boosts internal innovation, and build a sense of community within your organization. Since a collaborative workplace promotes ideas that originate from all levels of your organization, your employees can better leverage their experience as they share their knowledge and best practices. 

A collaborative work environment attracts and retains skilled talent, motivates employees, enhances productivity, and increases customer satisfaction. Building this kind of culture requires strong leadership, communication, trust, and shared purpose. Thanks to the right digital tools and technologies, your people can enjoy an enriching, collaborative experience regardless of their location. 

 

Optimization

Optimizing the workplace is a business strategy that focuses on improving your company’s efficiency, effectiveness, and the ability to work harmoniously. In order to successfully optimize a workplace, due attention must be given to your employee work. It should also be geared towards finding ways to best leverage your people’s skills to reach your greater business goals.

Although optimization heavily relies on human and technological resources, it’s also highly dependent on the creation of workspaces that are adaptable to your business needs and maximized employee utilization.

 

A Closer Look at the Latest Workplace Design

Since workplace transformation is focused on boosting employee engagement through collaboration and optimization, the latest workplace design trends strive to balance beauty and functionality. Check out the top characteristics of the latest workplace design:

 

Flexibility

Unlike the traditional workplace designed for fixed use, the modern workplace is designed with flexibility. Modernized offices feature modular and adaptable workspaces that can easily meet the changing needs of the business and those of the Millennials and Gen Z workers. The furnishings enable a more interactive and dynamic setting because they’re movable and fit together in various ways.

 

Blended and activity-based

Although today’s workforce tends to thrive in highly social and collaborative settings, they still need some privacy. This gave rise to the development of the blended and activity-based office design, which features a healthy mix of open, semi-private, and private spaces. The usual types of zoned areas include multi-purpose workspaces, lounges, privacy pods, quiet zones, collaboration enclaves, and neighbourhoods.

Multi-purpose workspaces include unassigned workstations, huddle spaces, conference rooms, and project rooms. Lounges refer to comfortable areas that serve as social hubs and ideal spaces for impromptu collaboration. Meanwhile, privacy pods and quiet zones are created to provide a space for employees who want to concentrate on their work without spontaneously being interrupted.

Collaboration enclaves are created to maximize employee engagement and productivity. These come with the right furnishings, technology, as well as acoustics. Lastly, neighbourhoods refer to broad zones that encourage people to embrace shared spaces rather than personal ones. Since each neighbourhood is unique, it has its own visual identity that’s conveyed through its distinctive lighting, colours, and furnishings.

 

Digital set-up

The integration of technology is also a distinct feature of the modern workplace. Everything in the office space, from the furnishings to each activity-based area, must be created with connectivity and the common tech integration elements in mind. These elements would include integrated wireless charging, table-top touchscreens, interactive displays, built-in power and data, easy-connect technology touchpoints, wireless streaming dongles, and articulated monitor arms.

 

The Need to Build Work Areas that Work

If your goal is to attract, engage, and keep the millennials in your company, you need to build workspaces that actually work. Today’s workplace has drastically changed as organizations are moving away from the process-oriented, classic culture towards the more dynamic, progressive culture. While the classic workplace culture favours assigned workstations and identical cubicles, most of the spaces in the progressive workplace culture are collaborative and unassigned.

The only way for you to successfully transform the environment of your workplace is to rethink the four essentials of your office interior – floors, architectural systems, technology, and furniture. 

 

Floors

Since the modern office needs to be flexible enough to accommodate diverse work styles, people, and technology, your floor plan should feature various types of workspaces. These include plazas or quads, which are open spaces where your people can hold informal meetings or brainstorming sessions. The floor plan should also include relaxing break spaces and enclosed offices that offer privacy.

Moreover, modern workplace features attractive and durable flooring solutions that can effectively bring your workspaces to life. Keep in mind that your choice of flooring will impact the health and safety of your employees, as well as the acoustics and the atmosphere of your workspace. 

 

Architectural systems

When it comes to architectural systems, highly modernized offices make use of sound masking. In case you’re wondering, sound masking refers to the process of adding ambient background sound that’s engineered to increase workplace comfort while protecting speech privacy and reducing noise distractions. Sound masking works great for open-plan office designs because it can make the entire space seem quieter.

Demountable walls or movable walls are popularly used in modern workplaces because they offer flexibility and sustainability. These can be easily detached and moved to another location when you’re trying to construct enclosed spaces. Since they’re reusable and reconfigurable, these architectural products allow you to eliminate the disruption and the mess of traditional office construction. 

 

Technology

Technology in the modern workplace can be collaborative because it provides integrated solutions that foster creativity and productivity in high-performing environments. Collaborative technology offers solutions that include wireless presenting, web conferencing, remote monitoring, and service plans. Furthermore, modern offices maximize space optimization tools, including digital wayfinding, occupancy analytics, room scheduling systems, and more.

 

Furniture

Your choice of furniture pieces can significantly affect employee productivity, collaboration, health, and well-being. Since the modern workplace embraces open-plan designs, more and more businesses make use of reconfigurable and portable furniture that is more conducive to collaboration. These work well with millennials who gravitate towards approachable collaborative areas that encourage open communication.

You won’t see rows of desks, traditional swivel chairs, and conventional conference rooms in a modern office space. When you step inside one, you’ll see multi-functional furniture pieces that are ergonomically sound. 

 

How Ergonomic Furniture Can Benefit Your Workplace 

If you want to boost employee productivity and morale, make sure that where and how they work wouldn’t cause them any pain or discomfort. Think about the length of time that your employees spend working at their desks. Modern offices use ergonomic furniture because these are specifically designed to better adapt to the shape of the human body. 

You might say that investing in ergonomic furniture and accessories will cost you a lot of money. However, you’ll soon discover that the meaningful returns that your company will enjoy are worth every penny. 

 

It enhances productivity

Make sure that each of your office chairs provides sufficient lumbar support to protect its user’s posture. Furthermore, it’s also best to purchase sitting/standing desks so that your employees can freely adjust according to their comfort levels. While you’re at it, try looking for ergonomic keyboards that help keep the users’ forearms and wrists in a good position.

Are your employees comfortable and focused when they’re at work? If they’re not, this could seriously affect your company’s productivity. Workplace transformation involves the use of ergonomic furniture to ensure maximum comfort and enable your people to work at their peak.

 

It boosts employee morale.

You shouldn’t be underestimating your people’s comfort and safety if you truly value them. When you provide them with ergonomic furniture, you demonstrate your concern for their welfare. This will boost their morale, improve their efficiency, and reduce absenteeism.

 

The Main Takeaway

With the rise of new generations of workers who come with rapidly changing needs and faster technologies, the many reasons behind workplace transformation can be complex. In order to thrive in this present age, businesses across the globe are trying to maximize their productivity, efficiency, and profit through workplace design.

If you’re looking to furnish your office space with modular office furniture that is versatile and easy to reassemble, get in touch with Mila Design. We specialize in designing and manufacturing modern and future-proof furniture that can be easily modified to meet the ever-changing office landscape.

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Architecture for children

Architecture & Child Psychology: The Interconnectivity

The world is continuously moving toward a phase where technology meets architecture. Traveling and looking around, you see buildings in innovative concepts, astounding consumerism, skyscrapers, commercialism ideologies, and more. You could wander about what’s connecting the concepts of architecture and child psychology.

Thinking out of the box, art for art’s sake

Sounds very interesting, right? These demands are likewise challenges for architects to beat what is the norm, think outside the box, and design buildings with limitless creativity. However, because architects are also subject to business deals and commands, they have to adjust and move according to what these interests want. 

Naturally, human beings are born with senses, and part of this is able to appreciate what’s around them. Buildings are, at most times, utilized for practical purposes of shelter, or as a place of work, but these must be able to exude true meaning. Architects are known to design based on objectives, and not just for the sake of consumerism.  

Basing these designs from children’s psychology will offer beautiful results. Previous studies have revealed how the designs turn out to be better and more appealing when done from the perspective of a child’s mindset. 

Children are innocent, unaware of many realities in life, and their perception of the surroundings is young, unchanged, immature, and not prone to influences. At the end of this piece, you will be able to: 

 

  • Understand architecture for children
  • The relationship between architecture and human psychology
  • Comprehend what rehabilitation architecture and stability mean
  • See how to design small architecture for children
  • Take a look at the best samples. 

 

Architecture for children

The child’s mind is playful. Architecture for children, in line with architecture and child psychology, may be defined in many ways. First, it may refer to how architects command their tools to come up with designs based on a child’s perspective. Thus, simple, easy-to-understand, and idealistic.

Second, it may also refer to architecture intended for children. How does one design a toy store different from a dress shop for moms? How does one design a family-friendly community versus a community for more mature individuals? How does one create a theme park with the concepts attractive to children?

Third, architecture and child psychology can also pertain to outdoor accessories and furnishings that both children and older people will love. These may include dog parks, benches, tables, and pet stations.

Architecture and psychology

Architecture and child psychology are two broad fields of study, though these two are not very difficult to connect. Previously, you have learned how human emotions change with the changing of the surroundings and how they relate to one another. We’re expounding on this a bit to discover more about the art and its correlation with child psychology.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a source that has been present since the 19th century, preceding the World Wars, psychology is defined as the science of mind and behavior. It also refers to the study of brain and behavior concerning a particular field. 

Is there value on each other’s concepts? Yes. Know that design could go beyond creativity. Architecture is art, mathematics — and science. 

Buildings and how they look impact the way humans interact and think. People can read patterns, and it is the architect’s work to ensure that the design follows solid principles. One of these is known as the Gestalt principle, duly related to the interaction between architecture and child psychology.

This principle talks about how the human brain mirrors daily surroundings in such a way that it is wired to identify symmetry and balance in line with the general whole, hence appreciating visuals. These principles are founded and grounded on similarity, continuity, proximity, closure, and figure. 

One of the best examples would be the durian-shaped building located in Singapore. Known as The Esplanade, this building officially attributes itself to the popular fruit in Southeast Asia, the durian. However, it is very different in terms of the building’s size, and without knowledge of this fruit, you would not be able to make the identification.

Gestalt principles trick the brain into following illusions, making it believe that this is what the person can see. Humans have the natural way to deconstruct these into the most direct meaning. The elements of balance, lines, depth, and illusion come together. 

And then, you have the psychology of color. Did you notice that many food chains and restaurants have a red color? Red symbolizes thirst, hunger, and the need for something. Brands and companies have taken advantage of the color to attract more customers. 

 

Children psychology in rehabilitation architecture and stability 

Now that you’ve offered a glimpse of child psychology and architecture, we are taking this learning up a notch higher with rehabilitation architecture. Going through the different countries and continent words, it makes it easy to understand. Recovery through rehabilitation is the end-goal, but there are challenges conquered, learning curves, and habits that must be done correctly and consistently throughout the process. 

Does architecture re-shape and refocus the mind similar to being rehabilitated? Yes. Architecture is also about healing. Spaces that heal have stunning visuals that do not burden the well-being of the person but more of relaxing them. 

In the path toward rehabilitation, healing prevails. The person learns from their previous mistakes, recovers, and makes the change. Architecture has the power to shape human psychology, and utilizing the technique to base every design from child psychology, you delve into themes of youth, playfulness, and curiosity. 

In the next parts of this piece, we take a look at specific samples of these architectural elements for children — from playgrounds to dog stations.

 

Designing small architecture for children

Dominating architecture and design are these small architectural features created for children. These may include playgrounds, dog parks, tables, benches, and dog stations. Creating these pieces takes effort and time, which is why architects are investing time to ponder how they will have them designed, built, and presented. 

Architecture and child psychology are two considerations that come into the scene when dealing with creating these pieces. In 2018, children or those aged 15 years and below comprised 26 percent of the global population. And, you have been a child at a point in your life, too. 

Children have memories of various spaces. It includes playing around the library in your community, or the closest playground to your house. Architects consider these when designing a small architecture for children. They are contributors to molding perspectives; thus, the need to think and re-think, and find ways to feature energy and empathy in the creations. 

“Memories like these contain the deepest architectural experience that I know. They are the reservoirs of the architectural atmospheres and images that I explore in my work as an architect,” Swiss architect Peter Zumthor said.

Universal laws for determining what’s a good design and what’s not should not be confined to strict conditions. Principles from this must be comprehended, though, to encourage discussion, promote learning, and have nature involved along the way.

Playground zone and use

The benefits of playgrounds are plenty. These are where your children develop their early motor skills and interact with their school classmates and friends from the neighborhood. Playgrounds are where children and their parents, relatives, and family members gather in a different space involving nature.

With these playgrounds, they are freer to move, promoting self-confidence and self-esteem. Many community playgrounds are free admission, which increases the chances for these children to utilize the spaces for engaging their imagination into the activities. These playgrounds are also partnered with health-related organizations in the quest to combat childhood obesity.  

What is a playground zone? Playground zones are common signs that indicate you are entering a playground area. This is a small architectural feature that can be conveyed through the design of open parks and playgrounds. It alerts motorists and drivers to take caution within the area since children frequent playgrounds.

There are various considerations when selecting and building these playground features. These include:

 

  • Safety
  • Play
  • Adaptability
  • Freedom to move
  • Knowledge and learning

 

Safety is number one, and this has been the goal of every playground zone installed in the area. Without safety, architecture better be non-existent. It involves the use of quality materials. Then comes opportunities for play. Being able to play is the children’s right. Spaces conducive to these activities must be abundant in your neighborhood.

The adaptability of the architectural space means being able to sway according to how they are needed. Are the eco-parks going to be used for teambuilding? Or, these will be more about a picnic of the family with children? With these come spaces where people are free to move around. Lastly, they must be conducive to learning. Are the plants you see around child-friendly parks labeled with scientific names?

 

Parks design for children including dog parks

Children’s parks that allow pets are trendy nowadays. The rising population of pet-owning individuals needs these spaces that are created exclusively for them since there are individuals who might find themselves not very convenient around these animals.

To design the best of these parks, one must consider the kind of play. It may include active play, sensory play, imaginative play, creative play, reflective play, and social play. For instance, the popular Mind Museum in the trendy area of BGC in Taguig City, Philippines, is an indoor showcase of crafts intended to develop the child’s learning. This leans toward reflective play more than active play.

Second is the sense of place. Parks that have the most definite sense of play are those that also talk about the local culture and the “community spirit.” It may include symbols that are native or local to the community. Benches may be painted with colors that tell you about the personality of the locality. 

Multifunctional park features are also getting more popular. Gone were the days when monkey bars were for hanging, slides are for sliding, and so on. Now, some chairs and benches have the dual purpose of where park visitors may sit down to rest, and act as the complementary decor of the larger area. 

Then, you can also utilize your artistic skills to feature hideaways and passageways that are not directly revealed on the map layout. The passageway to a lagoon or mazes that lead to a picture spot for opportunities of taking photographs may be included.

Flow is also a design principle. Visually and along the path, park visitors and children should have continuity of movement that coincides with the patterns of design, unless otherwise part of the entire art. Treehouses, hopscotch, or slide features are recommended transition pieces from a particular zone in the park to a different area.

Similar to a high-interval workout in the gym, zones for different energy levels must be designed carefully. It will prevent younger children from trying out a playground facility that may be too huge for them to handle. Then, you may also consider designing according to traffic. Work with nature, work on sustainability, and feel individuals’ movement once the park is completed. 

 

Small architecture for children — benches, tables, and dog stations 

Benches, tables, and dog stations are not just about their purposes, but also about giving a visual spectacle. Imagine a park without spaces where park visitors can rest. Or, open areas frequented by visitors bringing pets without stations exclusive for pet use. Aside from it being a disorganized affair, it is a step back from aesthetics. 

Great aesthetics involve these small pieces that complement the design, giving a visual break from greenery or lifeless continuity of horizons. Take, for example, a coastal stretch by the beach without accessories like volleyball nets or huts. It will look like an underdeveloped area.

Conclusion

There are several groups, institutions, and organizations advocating for improving architecture for children and introducing them to the field early on. Unless you have relatives who are architects, designers, or urban planners, there are instances you may be unaware of what architecture really is.

How old were you when you heard about the term “architecture”? If, for instance, you are in your 30s and were able to discover the in-depth meaning of architecture, will you have a child-like perception of what the field is all about? You have seen how architecture and child psychology go together, and we cannot wait to see how you will implement this in your future projects.

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