If you ever wish that you had never actually met your boss and your colleagues could be holograms well stand by because research was published way back in 2012 which suggests this could become an office reality.
Forget the latest trends in office furniture design or taking your mobiles and tablets to work; by 2025 you may not even have an office to go to! Instead work spaces could be replaced by technology...yes we mean using interactive surfaces.Holographic teleconferencing and virtual "dry runs" of projects could consign old office templates to the dustbin. Multiple surfaces could play a huge part in the office of 2025 where the office becomes home or a shared work hub and digitally enabled smart paint will project holograms of colleagues at a single touch of an interactive surface. Mad right?
So let’s keep it real and understandable for now. Let’s take a practical look at how things may take shape. The office space has changed a lot in recent years, with increasing numbers of companies moving away from cubicles and individual workspaces towards having more open plan offices that place an emphasis of collaborative work. With that in mind, we thought we'd take a look at what offices may look like by 2025 if we are not all holograms by then!
Flexible working - With the increase of flexible working set to continue, the way we look at offices may change. In fact, there are some who believe offices will be seen as a luxury or reward. As it stands, the reasons people go into an office are slowly changing, with offices becoming increasingly more collaborative.
To facilitate this, we may see offices do more to provide convenience workers with a space in which they can focus on their work. Outside of work, we may see more personal services being provided in offices, as well as wellness options. We could even see offices take their lead from welcoming hospitality spaces, which would mean different forms of seating and work accommodation in a single fixed space.
Replacing office desks with custom made workstations - It's likely that even those who have static workstations will see more emphasis placed on their individual needs and what they require in order to be productive. We may also see moveable walls, sound-absorbing fabrics and acoustic products, so workers can get the privacy they need. Such walls could also be used to create hubs, which would allow for greater collaboration, while avoiding the cavernous feel that tends to come from having meetings in the middle of an open-plan office.
Elsewhere, hygiene factors, such as lighting and temperature, will become more sophisticated and data-based, in order to accommodate employees. Rather than the shift being design-based, it appears offices will be more reliant on technology to help workers feel at home and improve their experience, which in turn will boost productivity.
Smart technology - With wearable devices continuing to evolve, they look set to shape the way offices work in the future. Instead of being stuck behind a desk, employees will bring their devices with them, which will provide them with easy access to plenty of digital screens. Communication may also switch from texting and emails, which aren't that easy to compose on a smartwatch at the moment, to interpersonal interaction.
We're also likely to see smart conference spaces to facilitate various meetings. The technology will help with providing everything from easy access devices to seamless ways for remote workers to join in with the meeting, either via video conference or audio. We could even see sensors used to track meeting participation and ensure that each team member has an opportunity to speak.
So, there we have it. While the offices of 2025 may look a lot different to the way we imagine them, it's undeniable that tech will have a big role to play in not only how office work is done, but how we look after the people who work in the office. Offices will be changing, so if you need to update your office furniture or your office is in need of a makeover, give us a call and speak with a member of the design team.