Most likely, what pops into your head when you hear the word “office” is a space filled with desks or cubicles. Offices are changing rapidly, however, especially in the high-tech world, and not least due to the pandemic. They are adding some amazing features to increase both productivity and employee well-being.
Spaces to be Alone
It is now an acknowledged fact that not everyone learns in the same way. Likewise, not everyone can be productive in the same environment.
Flimsy cubicle walls never did much to keep noise out. For those who can’t concentrate unless there are no distractions at all, businesses are now offering spaces like the portable office booth.
Booths are soundproof so employees who need to concentrate or make a confidential call have a place to do so.
Likewise, it used to be considered the height of irresponsibility to nap on the job. While it still may not be acceptable to just put your head down on your desk in a busy office space, many companies are now installing nap pods.
There are many benefits to napping such as increased concentration and decreased anxiety. Because of this, many employers are realizing that a place to nap can benefit staff morale and productivity.
The pods are basically comfortable reclining chairs with a hood that can be pulled down for privacy. Most also offer a wake-up feature so there’s no danger of sleeping through the next meeting.
Spaces to Work
Sitting in a chair at a traditional desk for eight hours is a thing of the past in many business spaces. Even the most ergonomic set-up can become uncomfortable by the end of the day. Although some might still like working in this way, it is by no means the only option.
Standing desks have become very popular. They are simply waist-high surfaces to place a computer on. The employee who uses such a setup stands all day.
This seems like a hard concept for many but it is actually better for muscles and joints than sitting for a prolonged time. It is also great for fidgeters and those with excess energy.
In addition, many are now using exercise equipment at their standing desks. Stationery bicycles and treadmills are becoming a common sight in the office. There are even balance and wobble boards to maintain good posture.
Exercise can also be obtained at a traditional sitting desk by using an under-desk pedaler or elliptical machine. They are a great way to provide exercise to those in a sedentary job. Using them is also helpful in preventing muscle stiffness.
Of course, a laptop, as opposed to a desktop computer, means that work can be done anywhere. Employees can theoretically work in any spot inside or outside the company building in a space that suits them.
Spaces to Meet
Once the standard for meetings was to squeeze the department into a conference room. Traditionally, conference rooms consisted of a large table surrounded by chairs. This was not the most conducive arrangement to get everyone to talk.
Now offices are incorporating features like padded stadium seating and staircases with comfortable chairs along one side and spread out.
In a less formal atmosphere and without the entire staff staring at one person, it’s easier to give opinions and ideas.
Spaces to Play
Businesses are acknowledging that play makes many people more relaxed and imaginative. Now they are installing entire game rooms. These rooms feature such nostalgic items as pinball machines and foosball tables.
Play can even become more physical at work. Some offices have playground slides instead of stairways or elevators between floors. Others have small putting greens.
Companies should try to provide their employees with several new work options. Contrary to standard belief, staff in traditional work settings do not produce more or better work by doing things the same old way.
Managers are finding that when allowed to spend their workdays in a way that is most comfortable for them, employees produce better work, and most importantly, are happier.