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How technology is changing workplace design

Don't you just love technology! It's changing the world. Literally! It's changing everything. This week we're going to take a peek at the effect technology and technology companies are having on the workplace. Turn up and sit 9 - 5 in a cubicle? No way, no how. Not anymore.

Vibrant work spaces, collaborative areas, workplaces that inspire and motivate the team are the aim of the 21st Century's game. It started in the technology sector, Silicon Valley start-ups were all nerf balls and basketball hoops and it has spread. 

With the effects of globalisation, the internet and the opportunities for self-employment, if companies want to retain the best talent they have to come up with the goods. Creative places to work. The message is loud and clear - replace the stairs with a slide or we walk. So they do. Employers listen to their employees and create working environments that are conducive to their needs. Because you know what? Engaged employees create healthier bottom lines. By as much as 20%.

It's still technology companies who are leading the way in terms of innovation. Now you'll often find companies like google splitting their offices into different campuses - urban and suburban to minimise travel and maximise happiness for their staff. They are also starting to offer facilities for doing laundry and other services that really take the day to day strain off their employees - anything and everything to drive loyalty, engagement and of course to make sure the talent stays put. 

Employees are being given more flexibility than ever before on how they work. Office layouts now typically include both public and private workspaces as well as a plethora of activity settings and collaborative areas. Project rooms, informal meeting areas, break rooms.....workplace design of today is nothing like its stuffy predecessor.

The advances in technology have given rise to big changes in how business is conducted. Flexible working hours, telecommuting, hotdesking.....it's all possible now thanks to technology. Cloud computing, web conferencing and mobile everything means that it's no longer necessary for employees to be seated in a cubicle, 9 - 5, Monday to Friday. Companies are happy because they make savings and the employees are happy because they can work from home, in a flexible way and get a better work / life balance.

Have you noticed any changes in workplace design over the past decade or so? Has the way you work changed as a result of technology?

19 June 2015

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