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The modern workplace is changing, and changing fast. But that hasn’t stopped some companies from languishing in the past with outdated office designs. The problem with an outdated, unsightly office is that it can be a massive drag on your productivity and the happiness of your employees.
Large companies, like Deloitte and Google, know this. That’s why they’ve attempted to use their offices as a tool to make the lives of their employees a little less miserable. They’ve abandoned the traditional office setup and started experimenting with new and exciting features to make the drudgery of work more bearable. Here’s the sort of thing they’ve been up to.
We’ve all either worked in or seen the typical corporate office. Row upon row of suffocating, polyester-filled cubicles where busybodies tap on their phones all day is enough to make you think you’ve woken up in some awful, Matrix-like nightmare. But that old world is being washed away with a new form of office design that doesn’t stink. Google, for instance, has gotten rid of cubicles entirely and has installed various fun features, like slides, to help employees revisit the joys of their youth as they struggle to come to terms with their dull, adult lives. According to the company, feature like this help to foster a stronger company culture and heighten engagement.
For most people, clutter is unpleasant. But science has recently discovered that it can actually harm a person’s well-being. It turns out that when it comes to clutter, we’re all rather sensitive. Companies are now focusing on reducing clutter with professional office cleaning services, experts in the art of making offices a clean and safe place to work. And they’re also looking at ways to improve the way that they are using space.
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Office floor plans have always been problematic for companies. The question has always been how to cram in as many people a possible, without it feeling as if everybody is working in one, very cramped janitor’s closet. Now companies are moving on to try to tackle what is being called “the open problem.” It turns out that people don’t like closed off offices, and they don’t like open plan offices – they like something in between. What this looks like is different, according to different companies. Red Bull seems to think that it’s all about plastering it’s logo everywhere and using brightly colored furniture. Lego appears to think it’s about getting rid of permanent desks entirely and offering employees a bunch of different spaces with different atmospheres so that they can find one that suits their mood. The overall trend, however, is to give employees a combination of spaces, from quiet individual locations to collaborative, laid-back areas.
The final thing that’s happening to the office is that it is slowly disappearing. It used to be the case that everybody went to the office every day and only did their work during office hours. That’s all changed, except in the slowly ossifying university sector, and now companies are wondering whether they need an office at all.