What Will Your Office Look Like in 10 Years?
Thanks to the evolution of technology, there are a number of work-related tasks we no longer need to do in person—like knowledge transfer, content review, and asking quick questions via messaging.
But in many ways, work remains the same.
We still do our best work and solve the most complex problems we face when we work collaboratively with our colleagues in the flesh.
Working together, physically, fosters innovation. This is the reason why companies like Google provide an endless amount of onsite perks to their employees. The longer employees are in the office, the more conversations they’ll have with their peers—which increases the likelihood that new game-changing ideas will emerge.
Much has been written about the future of work. Each year, folks from around the world meet up at countless conferences to discuss the workplaces of tomorrow.
At Knotel, we regularly talk about what the offices of the future will look like. Here are six characteristics they will have in common.
- Flexible leases
For decades, companies needing office space would have to lock into 10- or 20-year leases. When business needs changed and you needed a different space, it was tricky to get out of a lease—unless, of course, you were willing to pay a premium.
We’ve entered the age of the agile organization. The offices of the future won’t require tenants to sign long-term leases. Instead, they’ll be able to sign flexible leases that grow with their companies. When needs change, it won’t cost an arm and a leg to find a new suitable space.
- Outsourced office management tasks
No CEO moves into a new office and expects to spend their time worrying about emptying garbages and making sure there’s enough coffee. But these are just some of the extra tasks that fall into many executives’ laps once leases are signed.
In the office of the future, executives won’t have to worry about any of these tasks. Knotel will take care of all of them.
- Lots of open space/workspaces
When you’re doing deep work, you need a quiet space. When you’re collaborating with colleagues in a small group, you need a semi-private space. When you’re just hanging out with your coworkers, you need an open space with several places to sit.
Suffice it to say different spaces are needed for different situations. You can’t throw your team into a glass cube and hope they’ll have ideal space for every task and project.
The offices of tomorrow will be fitted with the perfect balance of private, semi-private, and open spaces so employees can find the right setting at the right time.
Here’s how it works at many offices today. You need an access card to enter your office building. Once you’re inside, you talk to a security guard. They make sure you’ve got the right credentials and you pass by. You get in an elevator, press a button and another button, and get off on your floor. Then you pull out yet another access card, say hello to a receptionist, and walk down a hallway to get to a meeting room. Once you’re there, you pick up a wired telephone, dial physical buttons and hop on a conference call.
In an age where you can order cars from the palm of your hand, that seems like a lot of work.
In the future, offices will be technology-enabled. Employees will be able to simply pick up their phones to navigate their office buildings.
Ever worked in an office full of cubicles? It’s not exactly the most inspiring environment. And it’s not a place you generally want to stick around any longer than you absolutely need to.
The offices of the future will be designed with comfort top of mind. That way, employees will be encouraged to linger, leading to more spontaneous brainstorming sessions and conversations.
In today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever to physically network with actual humans. To this end, millennials employees are increasingly clamoring for more opportunities to attend real-world networking events.
In the future, the best offices will place a premium on community, serving as venues for a diverse array of networking events that people of all stripes actually want to attend.
Good news: You don’t have to wait 10 years to find out what the offices of tomorrow will look like. Stop by Experience by Knotel, our interactive showroom in Manhattan, to visit the future today.