Before the pandemic began in February 2020, only about 2 percent of the US workforce was working remotely, by May 2020 that number had risen to almost 70 percent. If there’s one lesson we’ve all learned from this pandemic, it’s that remote work is vital to the existence of any business. The pandemic has now accelerated the future of remote work. That means employees can work from anywhere, not just work from home.
The office of the future will be very different from what we all know, but to understand why we need to look at the evolution of the office. In the post-war period, the idea was to organize people into a hierarchy of bullpen and corner offices. As offices evolved, workers on the ground floor were raised slightly and given more privacy with cubicles.
However, later offices became associated with cheapness and layoffs, and the office began to develop again. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the open plan office took over, although it was quickly discovered that it is often difficult to concentrate and get real work done when there are no partitions. So what awaits the office of the future?
Workers today want options. While freedom for collaborative tasks is certainly great, today’s workers also want to be able to work away from their colleagues when it’s time to turn heads. Health and well-being are also becoming more of a priority, so today’s offices often feature things like adjustable standing desks, pedal tables and even fitness centers. There’s often a common area where people can gather to get to know each other a little better, and these places offer things like ping-pong tables or other interactive activities.
The other big advancement in today’s office is free snacks and premium coffee. Keeping workers full, caffeinated, and happy is key to building a productive team. Additionally, offering free snacks, drinks, and premium coffees goes a long way in keeping employees happy with their jobs.