We’ve said time and time again that the open office layout is not ideal for today’s modern worker. The same can be said for what many call the “modern-day” or “hip” office. These working hubs rely on hotdesking, open concepts, and add-ons like cafes, bars, or other public-serving areas. But is this really what today’s employees want from a workplace?
While the concept seems interesting at first, the reality is employees who have to work in these bustling locations are having a hard time actually doing their work. What’s more, studies have shown removing walls, doors, and other spatial boundaries in the office may actually make employees ignore one another more rather than communicate better.
Instead of going all-in on hip office design, we recommend taking inspiration from some of its more practical and human-centric benefits and adapting what works best for your employees.
Here are our recommendations.
Hotdesking or desk-sharing is very common in these workplace settings, but it can make things very crowded, very fast. Some might even experience desk-sharing when the number of employees grows at a company but the office space does not grow with it. While hotdesking might seem necessary due to financial or space constraints, there are other ways to make your office space work more efficiently.
Employees don’t want to share their desks with coworkers and sometimes they don’t even want to work at a standard desk set-up. A simple solution to the hotdesking problem may be to incorporate more collaborative working spaces or alternative seating arrangements to your modern office, allowing employees to work where they’re most comfortable.
These so-called “hip” offices like to double-down on the open concept. Most of these spaces have large gathering areas, high ceilings, and sweeping hardwood floors. While all of these put together might look eye-catching and modern, the noise level in these spaces can become cacophonous.
You can have the hardwood floors or the large ceilings at your modern office, but you need to remember to also incorporate sound-absorbing furniture and acoustic paneling to offset the increase in noise.
Many of these modern-day offices have cafes, bars, and even game rooms for employees. While these amenities can boost employee morale and add a layer of fun to the office, they can also provide a number of distractions and make the office feel very impersonal.
Having a “third place” at your office can recharge your office, but, if you can, make sure it’s only open to employees that work in the building and only after a certain time. These places should also have their own gathering areas where employees can congregate without disturbing others who may be trying to get work done.
Whatever you decide to do with your office, make sure your employees are being seen and heard. Many of these hip offices seem as though they’re structured in favor of the employees, but, in fact, they are making employees feel abandoned and overlooked by both the higher-ups and their peers.
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