Jason writes for Rose City Office Furnishings in Portland, OR.
The office of tomorrow is evolving to accommodate new technology, a mobile workforce and a heightened concern about the environment. Open-air and collaborative work stations built around a team’s needs inspire many of the designs for tomorrow’s offices. Technology and improved employee efficiency are driving an increase in employees working away from a central office.
Predictions About Future Office Technology
One of the biggest concerns that all businesses share is the need for tight security. In the near future, employees will no longer have to worry about remembering several passwords. Smartphone apps are expected to be used for everything from accessing the parking garage to logging onto a company computer.
According to CNN Money, the office of the future will feature technical gizmos that seem almost unbelievable by today’s standards. Goodies such as 3-D printers, hologram tables and smart glass are just a few of the perks being engineered. Smart glass transforms as needed from a solar panel to a multimedia screen. When privacy is required, smart glass can also change into a privacy screen.
Another technological development on the horizon involves the ability to track an employee’s whereabouts for the purpose of offering assistance and connecting human resources as needed. While the idea of an employer tracking your every move can seem a bit unnerving to some people, it can also prove to eliminate a lot of stress. For example, tracking allows an employer to provide a list of possible collaborators to an employee out based on location.
As is true of any good design, the furniture used in future offices is expected to reflect changing work philosophies and priorities. The acquisition of office furniture is expected to take into account a new commitment to being “green,” by locating recycled or used furniture instead of always purchasing new items. The materials used to make office furniture will also be scrutinized more thoroughly for the sake of leaving a smaller environmental footprint.
Versatile office designs feature floating desks that provide large flat surfaces and foldable tables that can be moved around to reconfigure office space based on changing needs. Work stations that promote a collaborative, team approach are replacing the cubicles of the past. Leading experts seem to think that creative designs are believed to inspire creativity in the workplace.
Hotel Offices by the Hour
Hotels are responding to a more mobile workforce by offering rooms by the hour for meetings. For about $50 per hour, business professionals can book a small meeting space at the Marriott. For business professionals who don’t need a private room, they are welcome to use the lobby of any Marriott for free. Other hotels are also tapping into this marketplace.
The future office space will be designed around technology and workers on the go. An open plan that is reconfigurable will provide flexibility. Being green will be a top priority as purchases are made and office space is leased.