New trends in office design speak of open, welcoming, far more humane and flexible spaces and increasingly similar to households. They are spacesbased on communication, innovation, creativity and emotions; spaces that encourage the spirit, which facilitate the exchange of ideas and access to information, which provide the necessary privacy.
In essence one can speak five clear trends:
The corporate culture of organizations and their leadership styles are changing. Today prevail horizontal structures, without hierarchies, and open-door policies, without barriers that impede communication between people. Currently, the trend is to minimize the prevailing indoor and open areas and areas designed for communication, in which free-flowing talent, creativity and ideas of the people.
Different tendencies like project work, makes flexibility a top priority. Flexibility that allows the office to be alive, they change teams, which vary according to the project space. These are spaces that allow continuous and adaptive changes to the formations of new equipment, new structures, new forms of work and changing technologies.
To facilitate communication, teamwork, the sharing of ideas and knowledge and creativity of people, offices head towards open spaces, so work environments tend to socialize either with spaces shared by teams or common areas.
In that sense, a typology is booming informal spaces: areas like club executive airport lounges, cafes, billiards, rest areas, etc. Its purpose is to foster relationships between employees, offices humane, foster creativity and enhance the quality of life at work.
Moreover, the increased flexibility and mobility, and greater teamwork, make more and more people spend less time in a specific job (whether or not in the office), questioning sometimes traditional 1 ratio worker = 1 job.
For this reason, more and more companies are turning to alternatives to personally assigned work stations. These new solutions enable a more rational use of space, which is designed and distributed based on the real presence of workers, and not its absolute number.
In that vein, the “desk-sharing” (a job is shared by several people working on different shifts) is one of the most widespread alternatives. It is, for example, the system generally used in the “call centers”.
But the trend is towards flexible office systems in which employees do not have a position in the office, but are assigned one when they come to it . It is the system of non-territoriality: no personally assigned, but an elaborate spaces offer different jobs that can better adapt our spaces work processes and dynamics.
More Human Spaces
The office is humanized and workspaces are customized to suit individual tastes and needs: the need for privacy and comfort, archive, functional … Today, the office is to serve the employees, providing the ideal environment to develop fully. The new working environment should be functional, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and healthy for people who work in them.
Socialization of workplace and flexibility, based on the constant changes has led, first, to the design of mobile elements. But mobility goes beyond the elements, and as technological developments will allow work from anywhere, office acquires a more portable connotation.
In any case, there are other trends away from the same five blocks, although they are always related to or derived own:
- L as offices is designed around processes, ways of working and functions, not hierarchies as in the traditional office.
- Required by companies to their location surface is reduced, and the space allocated to each worker.
- The space is no longer owned by each worker, because the worker and not always occupies the same space.
- Decreases by about 10% the number of firms in the companies and open jobs are increased.
- Significantly increases the acreage meeting.
- The area under files is reduced.
- Increase the space devoted to services (cafeterias, office …) and rest areas or leisure, considered as areas of relationship / communication.