The modern workplace has changed dramatically over the past year, but evolution was a factor long before the pandemic had skin in the game. Offices had already shrugged off the stuffy cubicle approach in favor of dynamic workspaces such as the open office environment, with all of the technological leaps and bounds that came with them. The result was an office space primed for versatility, and a forward-thinking view of the future.
In essence, future-proofed.
However, just how future proof is your current office? You may think you’re ready for the next decade’s worth of business adventures that come with a new office refresh, but with technology and habits changing by factors of magnitude each day, it’s impossible to tell. Being proactive with your office design means more than just shifting a few desks around, or ditching a cubicle system for a hot-desking setup. Here’s some tips to consider.
COST VS. COST-SAVINGS
Many companies think future-proofing means having the latest and greatest, but that can quickly become harsh on the bottom line, especially if you’re refreshing your office design and/or furniture every few years. While skimping on top-quality office furniture might seem like a smart cost-cutting measure, it can add up down the road. The trick here is not to focus specifically on expensive quality, but functionality as well. If you’re in the market for new office furniture, make sure you’re looking forward into the future, as opposed to the balance sheet. Modular furniture items such as adaptable desking systems forego stationery designs in favor of versatility. This allows for the reshuffling of office desks into different layouts as the company grows, and more employees are brought on board.
FUTURE-PROOFING BETWEEN SPACES
Companies tend to outgrow their spaces rather quickly, especially during the first five years of operation. This means future-proofing must take on a new approach when migrating from one space to another. The aforementioned purchasing of modular and adaptable office furniture can be of huge benefit here, as it can be moved to the new location and set up in the most optimal configurations. This also affects teardown and setup time between spaces, as well. The less money that goes into formatting a new space, the better. Being able to future proof means having more money in the bank to allocate to more important things, such as reinvestments.
STREAMLINE THE BELTLINE
Every company inevitably falls prey to a little proverbial belly fat from time to time, and it mostly takes the form of unoptimized workspace. It’s far too easy to go for single-use spaces, but it’s far more rewarding to consider alternative setup options such as hot-desking, or multi-use areas. There’s no sense having a grand boardroom that only sees use five percent of the time. Rather, such a large space could accommodate an entire team in need of a collaborative space.
Similarly, break rooms have become very popular for employees who want to refresh the brain by getting up and migrating to another part of the office for a little peace and quiet, or simply a change of scenery. This means refraining from investing in things you don’t need, and utilizing what space you already have to your advantage. Even after Covid-19 wanes, many employees will prefer the sheer convenience of a work-from-home lifestyle. Such an arrangement could free up valuable space to hire new employees, and expand the scope of operations.
BE OPEN TO CHANGE
This is still one of the hardest hurdles faced in the workplace, and it doesn’t just affect employees. Even forward-thinking managers can be distressingly resistant to change, and that’s bad news for the company. Change is a natural part of life, and it’s a necessity in the business world. Sticking to old methods, habits and policies from ten years ago will not serve your company in the twenty+ still yet to come. Owners, CEOs, managers and employees need to foster a willingness not only to embrace change, but actively pursue it. There’s always a better, more efficient way of doing something, and that prospect shouldn’t be scary. Rather, it fosters enthusiasm and excitement for a new adventure waiting around every corner. Whether it’s a new technology, a layout scheme or a new training method, open minds rule the day. Without this quality, your office will never achieve future-proof status. In fact, it could find itself tucked unceremoniously in the past.
For more information on how Sensyst approaches the concepts of future-proofing a corporate office design, please contact us today. We’d love to share our insights and experience to help you prepare for a long, prosperous company journey.