A new look at office design

Published on 24/10/2016 in Inspire

A new look at office design

Mobile working – from a distance and with flexible hours – is gradually catching on everywhere. This new approach impacts on the optimal design of your offices. So what do you have to watch out for?

These days, it is rare for all employees to be in the office at the same time. Consequently, less office space is needed and the clean-desk principle can be adopted: employees no longer have their own office, but choose an empty spot when they arrive and empty it again when they leave.

Key word: flexibility

Offices are increasingly becoming nerve centers. Employees exchange information with one another there, hold meetings and take part in brainstorming sessions. They receive clients, give presentations and introduce the company. So more and more the office is becoming a creative place full of personality, rather than a functional work area. 

Open spaces? No thanks!

In the early years of more flexible working, architects demolished the individual office walls to create open spaces. But the typical open-plan offices led to excessive noise and there was minimum privacy. Consequently, today, many architects opt for a middle way. Around a small, friendly open-plan office, they create separate areas, each of which serves a different purpose: silent yet cozy areas for those who have to concentrate, areas where people can consult one another or work together, informal areas for coffee breaks, relaxation areas with games, etc.  

The arrival of Huddle rooms

One of the typical separate areas is the Huddle room: a creative meeting area for three to four people. These rooms often contain communication technology to organize video conferences with colleagues or customers. In the past year, the number of Huddle rooms with permanent videoconferencing equipment worldwide has doubled from 10 to 20%. The use of video conferences is set to rise by 400% by 2019.

The way to the cloud

Solutions in the cloud are the ideal way to enable everyone to work on the same projects easily from a distance and therefore divide up your office more efficiently. Recent figures from the Federal Public Service for the Economy and Small and Medium-sized Businesses indicate that one Belgian company in four bought cloud services last year. This means that more than half of large companies use paying cloud services (55.5%), along with one-fifth of small companies (22.1%). Small companies are expected to follow in huge numbers shortly, because cloud services are quickly becoming more affordable.

The perfect office? 
  • Space
    • Sound-insulating partitions for fewer distractions
    • A personal workstation promotes productivity
    • A variation in areas creates more drive and focus
  • Lighting
    • Daylight ensures a better night’s sleep
    • Atmospheric lighting promotes creativity
  • Decoration
    • The presence of plants increases well-being
    • The use of colors stimulates the mental state
    • Art on the wall reduces stress levels

Source: Huffington Post 


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