Technology has changed significantly in the past decade, from computing, to printing, to collaborating. If you’ve been in an office lately, you’d see that changes are happening there as well. The traditional 9-5 in a cubicle is no longer working for many companies. That’s why cubicles are no longer the norm. Instead, the most innovative offices are focusing on workplaces that foster collaboration.
What else can you expect to see in a modern office? While every company has its own ideas about what works and what doesn’t, there are some concepts that many businesses are incorporating into the workplace to help employees work smarter, not harder. Read on to discover what your company should be doing to keep your office environment trendy.
1. No assigned seating.
Don’t get too comfy in that area because you’ll be sitting somewhere else tomorrow. Instead of the traditional cubicle setup in which you go to the same desk every day, companies are allowing hot-desking. This term basically refers to the lack of assigned seating.
Because companies are forgoing clunky desktops and opting for smaller, portable laptops and a Wi-Fi connection, employees are no longer confined to their cubicles. Instead, they come into work and see an open area complete with chairs, couches, and tables.
Why does this work? Because sitting alone in a cubicle isolates people. People are more likely to work together when they’re sitting next to each other. Plus, the randomness of the situation allows you to meet and talk to people you might not normally talk to. The flexibility allows co-workers to be more in touch with each other. You never know what types of collaboration and ideas may happen.
2. Movable desks.
Since couches tend to be connected to relaxation, some companies may not be so quick to implement a hot-desking environment. A similar option to consider is movable desks. These long desks can be arranged like puzzle pieces to offer areas of collaboration as well as room to work individually. They work well for meetings and may help employees move around more.
3. Pets in the workplace.
More and more companies are allowing employees to bring Fido or Fluffy to the office. Bringing your pet to work offers many benefits, such as less stress and more work-life balance. Employees are more focused on their work because they don’t have to rush home to let their dogs out or worry if their cat scratched up their new furniture. Plus, there’s no need to pay a dog walker or cat sitter, which allows employees to save money at the same time.
Pets are also a great way to connect to employees. Since most people have or enjoy animals, they’re a great topic of discussion. Plus, who can resist playing with a puppy or cuddling with a sleepy cat?
4. Music room.
Music is great for the mind, as it helps with problem-solving, relaxation, and simply blowing off steam. Many companies – like LinkedIn – are creating music rooms complete with instruments and sound equipment. During lunch break, employees can rock out with company-supplied guitars, drums, keyboards, and microphones. They can make music alone or invite a couple co-workers to join in. This also fosters collaboration, since employees can work together to create songs and instrumental arrangements.
5. Employee recognition.
While some companies have implemented Employee of the Month programs in the past, the recognition was minimal. Perhaps there was a mention at a staff meeting or an award given to the recipient.
Nowadays, getting Employee of the Month is a much more significant achievement. Since recognition is now a key component at many companies, employers are upping the ante more than ever. Recognition now comes with goodies such as cash prizes, gift certificates, and even vacations.
Companies may offer other incentives as well such as promotions, raises, and hefty bonuses. These incentives encourage employees to work harder, meet goals, and find innovative ways to do more work with less effort. This boosts morale in the workplace and makes everyone happier.
Competition isn’t solely among workers anymore; it’s among employers trying to outdo each other with the best compensation and benefits. Employees expect more nowadays, and companies are scrambling to meet their needs so they can gain and retain the best talent.