How Does Technology Impact Workplace Design?


How Does Technology Impact Workplace Design?

There is no doubt that technology has fundamentally changed the way we work, opening up new channels of communication and providing a host of tools and processes that improve work output and productivity. But, beyond these virtual changes, how has technology influenced the physical design of our office spaces?

Tech enables greater mobility

If flexible working is the desired result, technology is the enabler. Advances in technology brought laptops, tablets and mobile devices into the workplace, all of which permit employees to work away from a traditional, individually-assigned desk. Collaborative online tools and project management systems facilitate working away from a defined area, allowing employees to communicate in real-time across floors, offices and continents.

These innovations in both hardware and software have given rise to a greater variety of work environments and, subsequently, have significantly impacted office design. An increasing number of employers are investing in more engaging and dynamic spaces which give employees the option to work in break-out areas such as cafeterias, booths and, in some cases, hammocks!

Data can be used to inform optimum office design

The first step in successful office design is to identify the key needs and requirements of the business and those employees within it. A technological and data-driven approach can be used at this stage to highlight employee interaction with the workplace.

For example, online meeting room systems can record usage while new heat mapping technologies can identify unused or overly congested areas. This data can be used to inform the optimum design and layout for your office that enhances the daily experiences of your employees and, in doing so, creates a productive and happy working environment.

Office greenery becomes increasingly important

With the rising presence of tech in all aspects of our working lives, employers are increasingly making strides to incorporate elements of the natural world within their office design. The intention is to offset any potential negative side effects of our connected world. Biophilic designs infuse the workplace with nature in the form of sounds, texture, colour and plants.

A University of Exeter study found that simply enriching an office space with plants led to a 15% increase in productivity. Tech giants such as Amazon were among the first to incorporate nature into their office designs to boost employee wellbeing.

In many ways, technology has had a significant and positive influence on workplace design. Increased mobility and ease of communication has led to the introduction of non-traditional working areas that foster creativity and productivity. Technology has also brought us more data points than ever before, giving employers the insight they need to create work environments that work for their employees.

This article was written by Sophie Barber from The Click Hub, a digital marketing agency in London and Exeter.

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