By Drew Puig, Brand Launch Manager, Bond Collective
The modern office space truly is a thing of beauty. Gone are the endless rows of cubicles that made employees feel like rats in a maze (or a cage). They’ve been replaced by expansive spaces, vibrant colors, and natural lighting and materials.
This shift from closed to open office design has had a profound effect on the happiness, productivity, and creativity of employees in modern offices everywhere. Not to mention providing a significant wow factor for the clients who visit these modern works of architectural and design art.
But how do you go about transitioning from a more traditional, closed office environment to a new, modern office space? In this article, the experts at Bond Collective will tell you everything you need to know about designing the perfect office for you, your team, and your clients.
Three Key Components Of The Modern Office Space
We’ve simplified the process of designing a modern office space by dividing it into three essential categories:
For each key element, we’ve provided four tips to help you develop an up-to-date office space that reflects your particular brand.
Allow For Variety And Flexibility
New, modern office spaces allow for a variety of different work environments. Think of these environments as subdivisions of your larger space. You’ll need places for quiet work, places for collaboration, and places for socialization.
You can further improve your workspace by encouraging layout flexibility. Modular furniture gives your team members the option to rearrange an area to suit their needs at the moment. That makes for a much more hospitable environment.
Incorporate Active Furniture
The variety and flexibility you plan for in your workplace writ-large extend all the way down to the individual pieces of furniture you choose. For a happier, healthier team, incorporate active furniture instead of relying solely on your standard desk and chair setup.
Active furniture includes the likes of ergonomic chairs, pedestal stools, saddle chairs, adjustable-height desks, and even treadmills and bike chairs. Having a variety of seating and work-surface options allows your team members to change positions often and helps them avoid the physical strain that comes with sitting for eight hours every day.
Tame The Noise
When planning a modern office space, sound reduction should be a primary concern. Large, open spaces are notoriously noisy and can seriously affect your team’s productivity.
You can minimize this problem by using sound-abatement tools, such as:
Soft furniture (e.g., fabric couches and chairs)
Acoustic ceiling and wall panels
Vinyl flooring (rather than natural wood or ceramic tile)
Any (or all) of these options will significantly reduce the noise pollution common to large, open office spaces.
Add Outdoor Spaces
Don’t forget outdoor spaces when planning your office design. If you have access to a patio, balcony, roof, or other open-air environment, furnish it with chairs, small tables, and maybe a bean-bag-toss game or two.
These outdoor spaces give your team members a change of scenery and allow them to get some fresh air and recharge their batteries. They also make for great meeting and collaboration areas.
Ensure Data Access Anywhere In The Office
Modern office spaces are built around the idea that team members should be able to work wherever they want. That means that they need to have access to their work (their data) anywhere they go in the office.
From a design perspective, it means providing a strong Wi-Fi signal in every nook and cranny, and ensuring that there are plenty of Ethernet ports (Cat5/Cat6) everywhere work might be done.
The wireless concept extends to more than just working with Wi-Fi. It incorporates such things as:
Wireless charging solutions
Cords hidden within walls, floors, and trays
Recessed power outlets built into desks and tables
All of these solutions can reduce the clutter of a large, open office and give team members more flexibility over where they choose to work.
Provide Collaboration Tools
The right collaboration tools can make or break your team’s productivity. A whiteboard and colored markers aren’t enough anymore. Now, modern offices are incorporating smart boards (digital whiteboards), wireless projectors, and touchscreen displays and presentation monitors to make collaboration easier.
The importance of collaboration even extends online. Cloud-based group apps allow everyone on your team to work together on the same project regardless of what device they’re using — or even where they’re located in the office.
Support A Wide Variety Of Devices
When choosing the technology for your modern office space, be sure to provide support for a wide variety of devices. Some of your team members may prefer to work on a desktop. Others may prefer to work on a laptop. Still others may do their best work on a tablet or mobile phone.
Regardless of the device your employees choose, or even if they choose to use all three throughout the day, the transition from one to the other should be as seamless as possible. If it’s a hassle to go from desktop to tablet, productivity will suffer.
3) Team Members
Give Team Members The Freedom To Work Anywhere
From day one in your new modern office space, give team members the freedom to work anywhere in the office that suits them. That may mean that one day they spread out in the lounge, the next day they isolate themselves at a desk, and the next day they sit on the floor in a corner.
Some team members may even work in all three of the above spaces in the span of three hours. As long as they’re being productive, it shouldn’t matter where your employees work.
Focus On Wellness
Your modern office space should contribute to the health and wellness of your employees. Remember, a healthy team member is a happy and productive team member.
Stock the pantry with healthy foods. Move the furniture to make room for yoga classes. And offer in-office kitchen events where team members can whip up a meal and eat together. These and other wellness practices can help keep your team members more focused on and engaged in the work at hand.
Train Employees To Work Differently
Assigned seats and workstations are the norm in most schools and traditional office environments. However, in the modern office space, team members may not have a desk that’s all their own.
Instead, employees are encouraged to use the different areas of the office for different purposes (collaboration, focus/quiet, socialization, etc.). But because the idea of an assigned seat is so ingrained in our behavior, you may need to train your employees to work differently.
Make it a part of your onboarding process to show new employees how they can use each unique area of your office and to help them see that they don’t have to sit at the same desk every day to be productive.
Preserve The Traditional Office For Certain Jobs
Certain jobs demand a more traditional office space. You don’t want your CEO and VP formulating strategies and conducting private business for everyone to see and hear.
Similarly, you don’t want your sales team (who are always on the phone) to disturb the creativity and focus of your other teams. That’s why private offices and separate, dedicated spaces for certain positions are still necessary even in today’s modern office design.
Obtain A Modern Office Space Without All The Work
Designing a modern office space is a lot of work. It takes planning, forethought, imagination, and time — commodities that might be exhausted keeping your business and your teams running smoothly. But you don’t have to start from scratch.
Bond Collective has created several boutique coworking environments that are available immediately for businesses of all sizes. In addition to our unique office settings, members also enjoy amenities like:
Private-label mail service
Daily on-site cleaning
Guest reception and greeting
Insanely fast Wi-Fi
Concession food market
Tour our gorgeous office spaces in New York (Bushwick, 55 Broadway, 60 Broad, Gowanus, Flatiron) and Philadelphia (The Station House) to experience the best that modern office spaces have to offer. Then become a member of Bond Collective and take advantage of our coworking spaces, dedicated desks, and private offices to suit all your business needs.
To get started or to learn more about the advantages of coworking spaces for digital nomads, remote workers, and businesses of all kinds, visit BondCollective.com today.