The special report concerning the study "Effective office and work worlds" of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) was presented In the context of ORGATEC, the leading international trade fair for modern work worlds.
More than 1,000 experts from companies of many industries who deal with the theme of "new work worlds" in their organisation were surveyed. The experts evaluated the conditions in their organisations with regard to a number of themes, including office design, cooperation, information and communications technologies, as well as the attractiveness of employers. One focus of the survey was on the examination of various office forms.
In the opinion of those surveyed (54 percent), the "multi-space" is developing into the dominant office form of the future. This work environment is characterised by predominantly open room structures and a wide range of options in terms of spaces and rooms that can be used flexibly by all employees.
Why this office form achieves better results than others has to do with the following aspects: cooperation within the company is lived more intensively, there is a higher degree of autonomy and employer attractiveness is rated much more positively.
In addition to this, the multi-space least reflects the company hierarchy in the spatial layout in comparison to other work environments. And that’s not all: multi-space workplaces offer far more opportunities for privacy for work requiring concentration and for brief moments of relaxation than all other office types.
Multi-space work environments also demonstrate considerably greater design quality than all other office types. In this way they can effectively support changes in the company, promote the informal exchange of ideas and facilitate networking between employees.
Key here is thus, for one, to increase the range of room and space types in the work environment. For another, to increase the attractiveness of the facilities with modern and flexible office furniture. This provides opportunities to furniture manufacturers specialising in precisely this segment.
In demand are items of furniture for a work atmosphere that promotes ideas and creativity. In the process, the trend is increasingly moving away from the conservative and grey office toward colourful and individual workplaces. Primarily in demand here are flexibility and variety, for example, with a mix of desks and areas for reclining. Height-adjustable tables are a good option when occupants change more frequently.
Relaxation and opportunities for privacy are also provided by comfortable lounge areas. Football tables or ping-pong tables remain great for short breaks. What is also well-received, especially in startups, are comfy sofa landscapes as "playrooms", on which one can play Playstation or Xbox together. For startups aiming at growth, it should also be possible to individually expand office furniture.
Office furnishing must also incorporate social rooms that promote spending time together. Small, open kitchens and flexible meeting rooms allow for a lot of space for communication. It can also be the classic break room as an alternative.
Here it can principally be said that the functionality of office outfitting may be extremely important. Nonetheless, the items of furniture can also look natural and attractive. This is because the following premise applies for many companies: people work only as well as their work environment.