These five trends are shaping the office of the future
The increasingly digitalised working world is sustainably changing the face of our offices. Work and communication happens between the poles of productivity and emotion. The Austrian office furniture manufacturer Wiesner-Hager has identified five trends, which will decisively shape the working world of the future.
“The working world is in flux and hence so is the physical workplace. Numerous factors are rapidly changing the world in which we work.” For Markus Wiesner, Managing Director of Wiesner-Hager Möbel GmbH, these changing parameters are both the basis and the mission for rethinking the office. Wiesner continues: “A look at five significant trends helps to understand how our working world is fundamentally changing”:
Trend 1: Office work is becoming more mobile
Smartphones, tablets and laptops make the office increasingly more mobile and independent of location. Digitalisation breaks with traditional organisational structures – and at the same time also with the classic office (spaces). Co-working spaces and desk sharing concepts will gain even more importance in the future.
Trend 2: Offices are adapting themselves to the work processes
‚Activity Based Working‘ (ABW) is the major trend: Future offices are providing employees with differentiated, changing work environments, which offer settings to support a variety of tasks. Rigid room structures are disappearing. Space needs to be designed around the tasks to be performed. in future good office architecture will be defined even more by the demand for efficient work processes.
Trend 3: Communication is becoming a key factor – but differently
Personal conversation is gaining importance despite or precisely due to the growing digitalisation and dissolution of rigid room structures. Agile companies require new room concepts, which take this development into account. The classic meeting room is thereby getting competition from unconventional communication zones, in which the informal, rapid exchange of ideas is also possible in a comfortable atmosphere.
Trend 4: More efficiency through open room structures
While the classic workplace continues to shrink and become more streamlined, free spaces near desks are spilling over into collaborative zones. It is only when the poles of, e.g. teamwork versus the private sphere or noise versus concentration are well balanced in the ‘Open Space’ that the gain in efficiency also generates a gain in sustainable productivity.
Trend 5: Offices are becoming more creative
Living room, market place or campus? IT groups, such as Google or Microsoft, are the pioneers: There all the senses are involved and are breaking with outdated notions of offices. Meetings are more frequently being held in unusual places. This extravagance however, is no end in itself but serves a higher purpose, as innovative strength requires social friction in a creative environment.
Wiesner-Hager is the Austrian specialist for office furniture, office consulting and interior design. The company has two production plants – one at the head office in Upper Austrian Altheim and a second in Humpolec, in the Czech Republic. In addition, there are subsidiaries in Germany, France, UK, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, as well as representative offices in the Ukraine, Bulgaria and the United Arab Emirates, among others. In the USA, Japan and Korea the company markets its products via license partners. The company employs a staff of 304. Wiesner-Hager’s turnover in the past 2015/16 business year was 35 million euros. 56 percent of the turnover was generated by export. The company has been a market leader on the Austrian domestic market for office chairs and communication furniture for many years.