The Secretary Magazine

The Modern-day Office

A modern workplace is characterised by a combination of technological, physical, and psychological factors aimed at balancing employee satisfaction and business efficiency. The definition of a modern workplace is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of both employees and businesses.

The world is changing, and so is the work environment. ‘Modern working’ and modern workspaces put the employee at the heart of the working experience. Employers must stay competitive and adopt the current working methodology if they want to recruit and retain talent. Communication is vital if we wish to endure the positives of modern working.

Contemporary workspaces are likely to be designed around a concept known as activity-based working. This approach involves incorporating open spaces with designated areas for specific activities, which departs from the traditional office model where quiet workstations are enclosed and noise-prone spaces are available. In other words, these open workstations might be turned into quiet spaces like in a library, with the enclosed spaces becoming conversation or privacy-based.

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Activity-based workspaces are flexible and adaptive to employees’ changing daily needs. They allow employees to choose the space that best suits the tasks they need to perform and cater to diverse working styles. This means that employees may not have a fixed desk but instead use hot desks, sound-proofed booths for phone calls, pre-booked meeting spaces with tech-equipped facilities, huddle rooms for small group collaborations, and other tools to maximise productivity.

This type of collaborative workspace provides choice for employees; they decide how, when, and where to work, allowing them to be more effective and engaged throughout the day. It is flexible enough to let employees be fully productive. To find a modern workplace design example for your office, here are contemporary workplace examples from AskCody clients and partners.

An activity-based workspace also accommodates today’s trend of on-demand culture, where changing needs are needed throughout the day. It allows more flexibility in the workspace, allowing it to meet different groups’ needs simultaneously.

The key to making it all work is to build the organisational culture around it—showing employees that their needs and ability to be productive are not afterthoughts.

Employees expect much more from their surroundings nowadays. Freshwater includes bean-to-cup coffee, herbal teas, the traditional “builders brew” within a kitchen or breakout snack area, and informal meeting areas.

Wellness is more than just a fashionable trend; it’s fundamental to creating an office space your staff wants to be in. Businesses are paying more attention to staff well-being than ever before because study after study shows a correlation between happiness and productivity. There is an innate understanding that the boundaries between home and work have become increasingly blurred.

Indeed, this is evident during the hiring process for many companies, with growing numbers of candidates citing the office environment as one of the major attractions. Naturally, it has a more frivolous aspect with free bars, games areas and even slides. Still, on a more serious note, it takes a more holistic approach to future office spaces and reflects the positive benefits of investing in employee wellbeing.

Opportunities to include some physical activities are appreciated and encourage an agile culture, helping to keep employees healthy and happy. Standing or treadmill desks are an option, but also include alternative working spaces such as comfy sofas grouped for brainstorming sessions. The design of your office should encourage activity; stairs should be more attractive than the lift, for example, and if possible, install a workplace gym and bathrooms with shower facilities.

As a result, companies are working hard to turn their offices into a destination rather than a mere office, making them an essential part of their overall company culture. This is important from an employer branding perspective, too. Competition for high-quality applicants is only increasing; excellent office space is a big part of that offering.

However, making the office a great place is about more than just green design elements and furnishings. Since the pandemic, technology has altered how organisations are run and has become integral to modern corporate environments.

The development of digital technologies like instant messaging, video conferencing, and collaboration platforms enables companies to communicate in real-time and, especially during lockdown, keeps us all connected. However, remote working comes with attendant pressures on company software, too, and one of the reasons many organisations are so keen for their employees to return to the fold is the growing risk of cyberattacks, mainly when employees are working from home on possibly insecure connections. Your office’s cybersecurity is likely much more robust, with industrial-strength firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption.

Future trends include Smart Offices utilising Al. Al will be crucial for improving overall workplace efficiency and productivity. Using software programmes to comb through vast amounts of data will free employees up for more rewarding tasks while streamlining processes and removing human error. Al could handle tasks such as managing the office calendar, meeting scheduling, and helping with research. VR (Virtual Reality) is already used in education and manufacturing, so why not train new employees in the office by creating simulated scenarios for them to use a VR headset?