It goes without saying that technology has revolutionised the design of the workplace over the last century. For companies, embracing technology in their workplace design is only part of the story. The culture, DNA, values and essence of any business is brought to life by the people who work there. Interactive office design is putting people, and how they interact, at the heart of change.
The days of wide open, featureless open plan offices are gone. As businesses increasingly recognise the value of employee collaboration, the modern workplace is evolving to facilitate this. The free flow of people – and therefore ideas – is central to the principles of interactive office design. By softening the office environment, removing traditional indicators of hierarchy and creating truly modular spaces, face to face interaction increases. The office is really refining itself to become home from home, with all the recognisable elements that go hand in hand with this, plants, lounges and even pets.
Modern well-designed workplaces in many cases now also include dedicated space, as employers progressively understand the benefits of creating social, and fun spaces for downtime too. The spaces vary from the extreme of a games rooms to a breakout area with seating which emulate our own dining rooms at home. Creating an office culture where people feel recognised, valued and happy to interact with one another reaps business benefits. These behaviours translate directly to increased workforce productivity and employee satisfaction as they experience the benefits of the modern office interior.
Clever workplace zoning
Traditional job roles are growing and shifting to accommodate a new generation of increasingly flexible workers. To attract and retain the best talent in this market requires creative workspaces where people feel at home. In a truly interactive office, employees feel comfortable, relaxed and empowered to bring their best selves to every interaction, whether that’s a quick one-to-one at a stand-up meeting pod, or informally discussing ideas with a new team member over a coffee.
By investing time observing and planning how employees move around the office space, an interactive office maximises the sense of flow, making it easy for people to find colleagues, and locate appropriate places to best work with them for the task at hand. Creating the residential blurred open plan office enables people to cross pollinate, encouraging an explosion of ideas and creativity that otherwise may-not have the opportunity to surface.
Technology for the interactive office
As the lines blur more and more between home and work, technology obviously has a part to play, but in modern interactive office design, technology becomes a facilitator, not an end in itself. Incorporating smart furniture with inbuilt wireless charging, or optimising systems for the use of collaborative tech allows for greater flexibility of movement around the office space, this in turn provides more opportunities for people to interact with one another.
At the heart of the interactive office principle is the idea that great things happen when you allow people to come together. For any business looking to increase employee satisfaction, boost productivity and foster a culture of collaboration, investing in a functional and beautiful interactive workplace is the best place to start.
If you are considering creating an interactive office space, its critical that you get the design right. We are experienced workplace design experts and would love to work with you on your upcoming project. Give Steve Crabbe, our director, a call on 01908 224160, he will be more than happy to assist.
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