The future workplace should nurture innovation, collaboration, and productivity. When human employees work alongside digital ones, an element of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, then the workplace of the future will be in full effect. For now, today’s workplaces are blurring the lines between in-person and virtual settings.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new focus on health and safety has led to businesses restructuring physical spaces. The shift towards remote working has enabled employees to move beyond the boundaries of buildings.
The traditional office space is no longer a workplace standard. Instead, we are reimagining the future workplace which promises to be fluid, employee-oriented, and technology driven.
When designing the future workplace, it’s important to focus on the health and wellbeing of the workforce. So we created Work.com to:
Help businesses safeguard employee health
Create a safety-first workplace
Improve workplace productivity
Business leaders will find contact-tracing tools that respect the privacy of their employees. They can also access the Command Center, which offers shift-scheduling tools to avoid congestion in high-traffic areas.
Reducing floor capacity by up to 50%, removing chairs and desks, and installing plexiglass dividers to separate workstations.
Rearranging/supplementing shared spaces like kitchens, break rooms, and meeting rooms to limit the number of employees and maintain 2-metres of distance between them.
Installing signage to manage foot traffic and provide gentle reminders of protocols.
Installing hand-washing and sanitiser stations on every floor.
Staggering employee arrivals to avoid overcrowding in elevators.
Ensure that all office-sponsored food and snacks are individually packaged; avoid bulk products. Also look at switching to disposable, compostable plates, utensils, and cups.
After safeguarding employees and completing the proper precautions, businesses can turn their focus to other areas. In addition to being safer, workplaces of the future must also allow for both collaborative brainstorming sessions and spaces for employees to work privately and uninterrupted.
The future workplace comes in many different forms and layouts. Depending on the type of work a company does, an engaging workplace is a necessary component for future success.
Engagement means different things to different departments. On the sales floor, closing the deal is the primary goal. So the layout and aesthetic should trigger inspiration and privacy for client communication. In IT, engaging may mean an ergonomically designed workspace that maximises productivity.
This idea can expand to the entire office as well. The lobby’s design can engage prospective clients and customers, while the office break area can focus on nurturing collaboration and community.
Emerging technologies are having a monumental impact on nearly every aspect of our daily lives. However, adoption has been slow within office environments. Most employees bring their own devices to the office, but a future-proof office should be technology-driven to increase productivity and efficiency.
The events of the past year have led to a rapid acceleration in digital transformation, and businesses are turning to technology to optimise the workplace.
Machine learning can analyse workspaces and algorithmically determine the best way to utilise different spaces for productivity.
Automated heating and air-conditioning systems can adjust temperatures based on the employees’ preferences.
Streaming music playlists can play in different areas to enhance the experience, such as the lobby or elevator.
Customer 360 (with Slack) enables businesses to unite their teams virtually. This robust platform brings marketing, IT, sales, service, commerce, and analytics together via digital workplaces that power your virtual HQ.
AI-suggested actions from Einstein provide employees with the answers they need quickly while automating the best action to take.
Work is such an integral part of our daily lives that offices need to serve multiple functions. Ideally, the office design will promote convenience and encourage employee innovation.
Future workplaces can include office libraries, kitchens, and fitness rooms. These facilities enhance comfort and convenience for employees who spend long hours working. Of course, the new shift towards decentralised workforces means that some businesses have taken the opposite approach, with employees working remotely from home.
In either case, the work-life boundary is blurring.
Some great examples of forward-thinking improvement include the renovations Salesforce made to several offices around the world.
In the Salesforce Tower Ohana Floor in San Francisco, people sit at rows of desks that are adjustable to any height, with a lush, green carpet designed to evoke pebbled paths. No desks pushed against the walls, maximising the city views and natural light within the room. Seating areas with snacks in the best spots for gazing out into the streets. And a meditation room with floor pillows and books on mindfulness is provided for employees who need a moment of zen.
For more atmosphere, a jazz pianist plays on a grand piano situated between two columns covered in green and red foliage. Numerous personal touches, such as an autographed beam with the names of construction workers, community leaders, and Salesforce executives, provide
If you prefer to opt out of an in-person workplace, you can choose the virtual route. One of the easiest (and fastest) ways to keep your remote workforce connected is through Slack! For instance, Salesforce’s 65,000+ employees can all communicate on a single Slack channel. This makes broadcasting company announcements easy and instantaneous.