Future-Proofing Your Office
The working practices of 2019 are a world away from those of 20 or even 10 years ago. For the most part, it is down to the incredible advances in technology, from cloud based apps to online teamworking and collaboration software. But also, there are social factors at play.
For years, we have been striving towards that holy grail, the work / life balance and for many of us it has been a case of it being easy to describe, but another matter to implement. Yet the millennials and Gen-Zers who are now dominating the workplace have very clear ideas on how to achieve it.
Of course, these changes do affect the way we work, and flexible hours, remote working and the gig economy are all signs of this in action. But they also have an impact on the environment in which that work takes place. The office design itself needs to adapt to changing times, when remote working and collaboration are the watchwords. Is your office fit to meet the challenges of 2020 and beyond?
In the 1990s, working in the city was a sign that you had “made it” and to attract the top talent, businesses needed to invest in an office that was either within or close to the square mile. Anything less, and a company was almost seen as “second tier.”
Today, this is simply no longer the case. The new generation of workers value convenience and the idea of commuting has no attraction. Getting out of the city and into the suburbs is a fundamental way of not just future proofing your office but also making some significant cost savings. This website gives you an idea of what is available out in the leafy suburbs.
If your office contains rows of desks with PCs or workstations on them, it could be time to ask yourself if you are stuck in the 20th century. Do those workers who spend all day sitting in front of a screen even need to be in the office at all? Most could as easily work from home, at least some of the time, and when they are in the office, a simple cluster of hot desks for whoever needs them should be more than sufficient.
The real purpose of an office in 2019 is to provide a place for colleagues and teams to interact and collaborate. Does your office provide for this? Meeting rooms are great, and they definitely have their place. But also focus on providing more casual space where team members can sit in comfort and discuss projects over a relaxed cup of coffee.
Getting the tech right might seem like the main aspect of future proofing an office, but as you can see, it is only one piece of the puzzle. Most businesses use a whole range of different software and technology, ranging from operations to business support to collaborative tools. It can sometimes look like a hotchpotch, which is inevitable given that businesses have gradually digitised different functions at different times. Ripping out all of these siloed software structures and installing an enterprise-wide system seems like an ideal solution at first glance. However, the business interruption and cost mean that it is not always a practical course of action.
The more important thing to focus on is ensuring that when you acquire new business tools, you ensure they are flexible and adaptable, so they can work alongside legacy platforms. Also, if you have not already done so, opt for cloud hosting wherever possible to take the strain off your internal infrastructure and simplify maintenance and updates.