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
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 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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.