Business culture is starting to feel a lot different than it has in previous decades. It seems nearly every modern company is loosening their neckties and embracing a less rigid atmosphere. Instead of stringent corporate cultures, there’s a shift towards productivity that involves better boss-employee relationships, more communication, and overall team member happiness.
With all the changes in business culture design, it has made a big impact on office lifestyle and appearance. Design-build firms are adjusting to meet these modern needs, with an innovative approach to furniture, layouts, and brand storytelling. Instead of isolated cubicles, you’ll find more businesses with open floor plan workspaces and a more casual dress code.
Some of the characteristics of today’s workplaces are:
- leaner and more agile
- focused the customer’s perspective
- less hierarchical in structure and decision authority
- less likely to provide lifelong careers and job security
- Ongoing reorganizing to maintain or gain competitive advantage
The changes largely have to do with how business culture is evolving. Here are some design strategies being used in response changing corporate culture:
Coworking and coffee culture has led to casual office design
Coworking has become one of the most popular trends of business culture. Coworking is a shared office environment where employees are not all employed by the same company. Coworking spaces have gained a reputation for enhancing creativity, boosting morale, and encouraging networking. You can compare it to your favourite coffee shop lounge that’s packed with people doing their own work, except it’s a space actually designed for working.
In fact, the tendency for coffee shops to attract independent workers have inspired one particular kind of coworking space. They’re reminiscent of trendy coffee shop culture, featuring comfortable seating, open layouts and shared desk spaces. These are a more casual approach to coworking spaces but are meant to fuel creativity the way coffee shops are thought to do.
Office design has become more environmentally friendly
Sustainable and environmentally friendly business practices continue to be a major value that consumers and prospective employees look for. More than ever, people make decisions on where they work and the services they use depending on corporate values.
As a response, many businesses are choosing greener business practices to improve their PR.
Greener workplaces are also much healthier environments for employees to work in, leading to money saved on fewer sick days.
Greener office design includes using energy efficient lighting, and minimising waste during any refurbishment. Many offices are also introducing house plants and living walls to improve air quality and cut back on sicks or sick buidling syndrome.
Telecommuting means there is less need for desk space
With telecommuting on the rise, the need for workspace has been reduced. Telecommuting is so popular, that in this survey, 53% of tech workers said they would accept a pay cut in order to work from home. Aside from improving job satisfaction for employees, it also comes with financial benefits for companies too, such as lower overhead and better retention.
Telecommuting means fewer cramped workspaces and more room to dedicate towards comfortable lobbies, kitchen areas, better quality offices, or other areas that improve time spent at work.
Cloud technology and minimalism in the office
Many company cultures value the idea of “less is more” and making empty space a focal point of their design. The rise of cloud-based programs and electronic file management such as Google drive or Microsoft OneDrive, files can be shared and collaborated on with teammates and clients.
This has led to a decluttering of offices. With less need for paper copies of documents, businesses no longer need rows of storage units or huge commercial printers. This allows for businesses to get creative with their spaces and has led to an increase of minimalist or industrial workspace design.
As a result, businesses have been able to use the extra space in more creative ways. Open floorplan workspaces, better break rooms or social areas, and lobbies that tell the companies story are just some of the design changes that are possible with the extra empty space.
As business culture design evolves, design-build firms will continue to find new ways of meeting the demands of workspaces. New generations of workers often mean a shift in office lifestyle and priorities. By keeping up with how business culture is changing, we can continue to create workspaces where employees can excel and companies can keep their competitive advantage.