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The Future of Workspaces

Nov - 20 - 2017

The workplace has transformed over the years, from the cubicles in the 80s to open office layouts in the 90s. The evolution of work has been more than just a change in the layout of offices, the services offered at work has also changed to offer more personal life integration. It’s important for companies to adapt to the changing workspace demands in order to keep current employees engaged and attract future employees. Here are the latest workplace trends that we expect to continue in the future.

1. Work and Personal Life Integration

Traditionally, work life balance meant separating your work and personal life – the goal was to leave work at work. It would be normal to not be reachable during non “office hours”. However, over the years, the line between work and personal life has blurred.

The future of the workspace will see the integration of your work and personal life. Some companies have already embraced this by including onsite child care facilities and wellness programs such as yoga in the office. This trend will be more common and employees will be expecting this from their employers in the future. Employers need to realize the benefits of work life integration to attract talent and improve work satisfaction.

Additionally, with the booming number of people using co-working spaces, the future of workspaces will continue to see an integration of the home and work life. Co-working spaces allow entrepreneurs to be part of a community by hosting social events. Co-working spaces will no longer be seen just as a place to do work but also a social community.

2. On Demand Office Space & Design

Technologies such as telepresence robots and VR are becoming more common and virtual meetings are becoming the norm. More people are opting for the digital nomad lifestyle and prefer the ability to work from anywhere.

The increasing ability and desire to work from anywhere will cause a shift in the traditional need for office space. There will be less of a need for fixed leases or monthly commitments, and an increase in demand for office spaces by the hour, such as for a client meeting or internal company meeting. As we see the rise in the shared economy lifestyle, shared, on-demand workspaces will be the norm for the future. The new generation of workers are adaptable and prefer convenience over familiarity as seen with the success of Uber and Airbnb.

Over the past two decades, the open office plan has been widely prevalent as it facilitates collaboration and communication among colleagues. However, studies have shown that this type of layout has a negative effect on productivity and well-being.

The future of office design will cater to a variety of different working styles. There would be enclosed rooms for quiet space or important calls that are free from distraction, collaborative space to brainstorm ideas in groups, and informal work areas like a lounge/ café environment.  Workspaces will meet individual needs and for different working situations instead of a one size fits all approach.

Office design will also place a greater emphasis on environmental sustainability. Generations of the future will be more concerned about how the company will address climate change and prioritize an environmentally-friendly office space.

3. More Workspace Utilizing Short Term Leases

Companies will opt for more short-term leases as it allows them the flexibility to meet business demands. This also lets them relocate their business at short notice without having to wait until their lease expires. The ever-changing business environment requires that companies stay nimble in order to be competitive, and long-term leases do not allow for this.

In addition, a new accounting law announced by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will contribute to the increase in demand for short-term leases. Starting 2019, MNCs and listed companies will need to show the impact of their workspace on their financials. Currently, some companies would claim their lease as debt, yet this is not transparent on financial statements. This new rule will not apply to short term leases (less than 12 months), making it an attractive incentive for more companies to use flexible workspaces.

The future of workspace will address the current flaws in the open office design and the needs of the upcoming generations. At Compass Offices, they recognize the need for flexible workspaces, and thus take pride in providing a variety of spaces including shared office space, day offices and meeting rooms. Also, their serviced offices allow for companies to be agile as rental contracts start at one month. Compass Offices is looking forward to supporting companies as they evolve to become more nimble and flexible in the future.

Disclaimer: This article was first posted on https://www.compassoffices.com/en/about-us/blogs/future-of-workspaces/

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