If you’ve ever come across and old photograph of an office from, say, the early 1900s, you will immediately notice that the environment with which you are presented is quite different from the modern office of today. Societal trends and general advancement have meant that what was once considered the norm is now very much outdated and in many cases seen as a detriment. These changes have taken many forms, but today we will focus on the most prominent ways in which the office environment has adapted to the modern technological era.

The most obvious is the fall of the cubicle-based office in favour of more open-plan layouts designed to foster communication and collaboration between colleagues. This doesn’t just mean knocking down a few walls however; open-plan offices tend to go hand-in-hand with hot-desking or flexible working/seating arrangements, and often feature breakout zones, secondary working areas and other shared facilities. To put it simply, the key here is flexibility.

These collaborative work areas now form the backbone of many modern offices, allowing colleagues to work together rather than being cordoned off to their own desk. By providing variety throughout these areas, with options ranging from more-traditional meeting rooms for formal encounters to lounge-like seating areas for more casual conversation, you can ensure that every individual, no matter their preference, can find a working environment that suits them thereby enhancing productivity in the process.

The way in which workers take their breaks and encounter colleagues has also changed, with traditional water-cooler conversation moving into full-blow kitchen areas, cafes or even bars all housed within the office itself. These break areas also serve an extended purpose beyond simply being a place to eat, as they increasingly feature novel additions such as ping-pong, pool tables, bookshelves and so much more - all of which allow workers to better unwind during their break and perform better upon their return.

Then of course you have technology, which has advanced so far in recent years that it’s little wonder that the face of the modern office has adapted to suit. Mobile computing technologies such as laptops, tablets and even smartphones now grant workers more freedom in regards to how, when and where they work, while interactive screens throughout offices serve purposes ranging from planning and discussions to company/brand presentations. Space management software is increasingly used alongside hot-desking or flexible working arrangements to as to avoid any disputes between colleagues and better facilitate collaboration, and Wi-Fi has moved far beyond a luxury to become a must-have for any office environment. There are so many ways that technology has impacted upon our professional lives that we could not hope to list them all here, but those who fail to keep  up in this regard are certainly in for a difficult time down the line.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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