The Raw Potential of the Workplace: Future Proofing through Interior Design
Many people hear the phrase “interior design”, and immediately picture throw cushions and feature walls – but things are different at Novex. While we certainly believe in aesthetic appeal, we’re all about functionality. That’s why we were so pleased to read the latest report from Cushman & Wakefield and Unwork, which looks at the future proofing of the workplace in the Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) sector.
Ten years ago, technology was not a huge part of the average person’s daily life. Then the iPhone came along and changed everything. It’s one tiny example, but it goes to show how far we’ve come in just one decade. And – just as Apple must do battle with Samsung and Google every year to bring out the faster, smarter gadget – so businesses in the TMT sector must constantly make room for new developments.
In their report ‘The Future of the TMT Workplace’, Cushman & Wakefield and Unwork highlight the challenges facing traditional modes of working. Not only are new competitors springing up across the globe, but brand new applications and business models are entering the scene, to disrupt old ways of thinking. The result? TMT companies that are too set in their ways are falling by the wayside.
The solution to these problems lies in practical, affordable future proofing – and there’s a huge role to be played by interior design.
Workplaces for Start-Ups
One of the hottest trends on the TMT scene is the “accelerator”, a programme that nurtures young start-ups. These programmes are often located in large office spaces; one fantastic example is Factory Berlin, a 16,000 square metre workspace which houses start-ups along with big hitters like Twitter. For a design company like Novex, the thought of getting into a shared space like that, and kitting it out for comfort and functionality is pretty exciting.
A Young Aesthetic
If you want to appeal to start-ups, then you’ll want to dispense with the usual office decor in favour of something young and fun. It might seem like a cliché, but if you’re working with young people developing creative business ideas, then a modern, visually striking office space is a must.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider when designing a modern workplace is collaboration. As Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer explained back in 2013, people may work more productively on their own, but they’re far more innovative when they work together. Bearing this in mind, it’s easy to see why so many modern workplaces are open plan, centring around functional communal areas that allow employees to collaborate with ease and comfort.
One study found that, on any given day, half the desks in the average office are empty most of the time. Going forward, many TMT businesses will want to start adopting a workplace that is flexible to the habits of its workforce and uses space more efficiently. This is known as Activity-Based Working and has led to a demand for flexible offices, which can be easily adapted to accommodate different styles of working.
The overall conclusion is that, if TMT companies want to stay relevant and competitive, they need to start prioritising collaboration and flexibility – both in their business ethos and their physical workplace.