The open-plan layout that ruled office design for as long as century is being dispatched to the dustbin of design history. With it goes many typical jobs like – secretarial, accounting and clerical, etc. The present-day workplaces need to take into account the so-called 21st century job roles like – content maker, data scientist, web designer, digital marketer, app producers, etc
Nothing like the past generations of desk-job workers, the current generation of employees wish for – and at times demand – amenable office spaces that contribute to their thinking and aid in improved work productivity. A few property attributes that is needed for this to achieve is – soundproof booths, standing desks or soft seating areas.
Furthermore, many top-notch organizations find it difficult to hire and even retain millennials; what makes worse is barn-like spaces with row upon row desks with little daylight is probably not going to help. The situation is well depicted by Erika Andersen, writer of Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers, wherein she wrote that the millennial workers need ‘flexibility, challenge and meaning – these three attributes are the key elements to engage their minds and hearts’. Some companies like Microsoft make use of their contemporary office designs as a recruitment tool.
For now, study shows that characteristics of state-of-the-art office spaces, for instance – natural daylight, better air quality, windows with views of pool, plants and trees – all come together and help the employees in better thinking, concentration and overall performance and also decrease levels of stress, anxiety, depression and other sicknesses among employees.
The real estate developers offering office spaces to their clients often pay a lot of time and attention in developing office spaces with optimum levels of light, sound and temperature, little to no carbon dioxide in the air and proper disposal of waste. In order to improve the office space, the developers hire staff specialized in developing different areas for different purposes, for instance – paint color and quality to improve light levels and air quality. Modern and large organizations have all praise for such innovative developers who have embraced the fact that office attributes that are full of life can boost employee creativity and productivity. For example – Google has ping-pong tables in its offices and Microsoft has treehouses for employee meetings.
1854 – A report was mooted by the UK civil service wherein it was suggested that for all the work that involved critical thinking, separate rooms should be allocated. The intellectuals should not be interrupted, however people involved with mechanical work can be put at one big room. And this was their proper mode of getting the work done.
1887 – According to a strong recommendation by the civil service commission of US, all the clerical staff should be concentrated in large rooms. Their supervision will be much efficient and would require fewer eyes.
Early 1900 – Frederick Taylor, an engineer by profession and a great leader who supported Efficiency movement has designed the first of its kind open-plan office.
1950 – Evolved in Germany, Bürolandschaft is a type of office landscape that made use of desk grouping in patterns that boost conversations, discussions and make the overall environ happier.
1970-1980 – Cube-style environment came into being, offering more privacy and confining employees to their respective spaces. Not many employees cooperated while adopting this arrangement.
2000 onwards – Workplaces today are multipurpose office spaces with comfortable seating arrangements, eating joints, gaming zones, etc. The office spaces today are the perfect balance of science and technology.