Any area in business endeavour has been undergoing marked changes over time. One interesting area to look at is the workplace – particularly the office arena. A lot has changed over the years when it comes to how and what constitutes a modern-day office environment. These changes have been and are premised on various fundamental principles that are worth exploring. It’s the tendency of most business owners to not give closer attention to this subject because they might be unaware of the dynamics. The working environment or the office is the incubator or somewhat the nucleus of any business’ productivity. As such it deserves due attention and deliberate implementation of measures that add value.

The Rise Of Teleworking

Before I delve into issues pertaining to the actual office spaces let me touch briefly on this subject. All across the world, we are seeing an increase in the number of employees working from home i.e. home offices. Several companies now have laid out policies regarding human resources working from home. It’s been noted that working from home actually increases the overall performance of employees owing to their being in spaces they’re mentally and physically at harmony with. This is majorly due to the fact that such environments are solely up to the employee’s discretion when it comes to design and setup. Locally we are still way too far off from seeing this trend being widespread but businesses must start seriously considering having some of their workface working from home. The business actually gets to enjoy the benefit of adding more employees without worries of how to accommodate them onsite.

Hybrid Or Multifunctional Office Spaces

For so many years office environments were built in such a way that put virtually at least 90% of the employees of a business in one room. I’m referring to the open office floor design which quite frankly was too inconvenient in my opinion owing to noise, clutter and lack of privacy. After that we saw the emergence of compartmentalization in the form of cubicles – some still use this design today. Then as time went on it became apparent that people were realizing the need for employees to have some semblance of privacy in their work. This was obviously meant to shut out background noises and promote optimal conditions for concentration and focus. Now, we’re seeing a rise in the marrying of the two aspects by striking a balance between open plan and private spaces. So the crux now is to promote engagement (open plan) and privacy (private spaces). You’ll now find some office environments where there are spaces of engagement and then secluded sitting areas where one can go to when they want to work alone. This approach is so prevalent at offices of tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Dropbox, just to mention a few.

Incorporating Amenities Onsite

This is something that’s so cool when you see how businesses in developed countries are doing this. Businesses now go to great lengths in order to ensure there’s no employee turnover. So one of the ways in which some businesses do this is by providing amenities at the official site. I’m talking about things like gyms, spas, movie houses, restaurants or even theatres; the list is limitless. The idea is to make employees have all their needs in the proximity of their office spaces. You’ll now find offices with refreshment areas with pool tables, bars or gaming stations. I remember seeing a guy who works at Google offices who was describing his office experience. The office is so riddled with amenities that he can go shower at the office, have breakfast, lunch, refreshments and even supper there. There are even restrooms where one can take a nap as they briefly break from their work or to even sleepover. This trend is getting more and more popular nowadays. The overall aim is to make office spaces not to feel solely like office spaces so that employees enjoy their office environment. I’m sure if you’re to work in such an office environment you would be looking forward to going to work daily.

Personal Customization

It’s becoming more and more commonplace for employees to be given room to dictate the design and setup of their offices or office spaces. This is very instrumental in allowing employees to create a work environment that’s according to their preferences and thus leading to optimal performance. You’ll be amazed at the many offices where employees are supposed to stick to dictated designs and setups. Most aren’t even allowed to put up personal effects such picture frames, flowers and the like. If you really care about the productivity of your workforce then you must allow them the room to personally customize their work environments. Of course, you might have an overall theme for the business’ look but at least allow them some leeway for personal customization.

These are just some of the interesting current markers in the evolution of office environments. The look and feel of office environments are now key attributes that need to be symbiotic. It’s not just enough to say you have an official site; the aesthetics (look) and ergonomics (feel and function) must be in harmony. Plus also think abroad because home offices (teleworking) are now a consideration which has tremendous benefits for both business owners and employees. Take some time to explore and see how you’re faring in some of the issues I’ve discussed herein. A company or business is what is it because of the quality of its workforce so do give attention to this area. The office environment has a huge bearing on overall employee performance so don’t take it lightly