The last ten years have irreversibly affected and changed the concept of the modern workplace. Where once, the workforce worked solely in a singular location - either an office or something similar - in this modern, evolving work environment, things have changed to accommodate digital networking, employees who work remotely, and a generally changing idea of what it means to be in an “office.”
While the physical workplace is not going anywhere yet, it needs to continue to evolve if building designers, office managers, and business owners want to encourage and support the latest generation of employees. In some cases, this means changing the way a team operates within a space by changing from the cubicle layout of old to the more modern open office design. In other cases, it means transforming what used to be a traditional, uniform office into something more akin to a productivity clubhouse, where employees are given unique spaces for all their tasks and projects.
Regardless of your role in this changing landscape, there’s no escaping the reality that the workplace as we’ve known it is changing. Thankfully, many of these emerging trends improve the office for the better. With a renewed interest in the betterment of the employee’s environment, the ideal workplace now functions as a catalyst for employee productivity and efficiency. This serves as the scaffolding the individual worker and the broader company culture need in order to find success in this new environment.
Table of Contents
- Easy and Affordable to Install
- Building a Brand
- Tell Your Story
- Increase Productivity and Creativity
An Evolving Workplace
To help you keep track of the newest developments in this ever-evolving workplace, and find ways of outfitting your office to make use of them, here are some of the most prominently effective office design trends and the ways they affect your workforce.
The Open Office
The time of cubicles has (mostly) come to an end, and that’s almost universally viewed as a good thing. With the retirement of isolating workstations, the open office concept has been able to enter the scene and really find a home. Offices across the world are ditching the walls that once kept their employees locked away and are now creating an organic, open-ended environment where an entire workforce can work alongside one another.
For the most part, the open office has seen tremendous success, as this renewed interest in the collective productivity of the workforce has increased communication, productivity, and in many cases, even creativity. People tend to thrive around other like-minded thinkers, and the open office directly appeals to this by capitalizing on the communal abilities of the team, rather than the individual talents of each unique employee.
However, for all its benefits, an open office format is not without its critics. For some employees, the constant chatter and background noise of coworkers can be distracting and hard to filter out. In a 2017 survey, 58% of high-performing employees said that they wish they could have access to more quiet places to do their work in. The younger generation of employees has also reported that the open office adds stress to their days, as the increased exposure and lack of quiet inhibit their sense of personal space and privacy.
Each individual employee is different and finding an office layout that appeals to everyone’s personal preferences is not often feasible. Where some employees need secluded, quiet spaces to brainstorm, collaborate, and work on their tasks, others thrive alongside others and would be held back by an environment that sections people off. While enclosed conference rooms are often used as a solid compromise, it’s still not a perfect solution, as it can create an exclusionary environment that is rarely beneficial.
Obviously, a compromise is needed. Open offices are here to stay - and with good reason - but if they’re not an ideal fit for all of your workforce, then you’re going to want to find a compromise that can build a bridge between your employee’s unique preference.
Emphasizing Employee Engagement
An engaged employee is a productive employee. The more invested your employees are in your company and the work they’re doing, the better their productivity will be and the happier they’ll be. However, in a landscape where it seems that more people are disengaged from their work than not, it can be challenging to find realistic, proven strategies for upping your team’s investment. This is why employee engagement has become such a top priority in the modern workplace.
There are a number of ways to emphasize employee engagement, and deciding on an approach that works for you and your company is ultimately going to be dependent on how well you know your team. Does your workforce primarily appreciate an open office? Then find ways to accommodate the few who don’t. If the inverse is true, then devote some resources toward finding a compromise that keeps the open office functional, but still makes room for dedicated “quiet” spaces.
Another approach you can take advantage of is simply taking ownership of the appearance of your workplace. Your open office is already designed to focus on camaraderie and collaboration, so what else can you do to maximize the space? The answer comes down to lighting and noise levels, as these are naturally occurring factors that can, to a point, be controlled and accounted for in the workplace.
If you have people who need background noise to focus, create a space for it. If others are distracted by background noise, then make a quiet space for them. If distinct spaces aren’t a viable option for you, you should still communicate with your team and find ways to work alongside them to best tailor your given location to meet the needs of those who work in it.
For example, if you have easy access to windows, take advantage of as much natural light as you can. Sunlight is proven to increase focus and mood. If it causes a glare, however, or distracts people, then investing in window graphics can help preserve the benefits of natural light while also controlling the degree it affects your workforce.
Ultimately, emphasizing employee engagement comes down to knowing your workforce and taking as many steps as you can to acknowledge and accommodate their personal desires and preferences. There’s no perfect solution, but there are tools and strategies you can and should educate yourself on that can go a long way towards improving the productivity and positivity of your modern workplace.
Digital Window Graphics in the Changing Office
As you and your company work to find a compromise between the productivity benefits of an open office and the personal privacy of your individual employees, some of the most effective and accessible tools to take advantage of are office window graphics.
Many companies out there right now are starting to include their brand and personality in the design and decorations of their office spaces. This includes everything from the furniture they fill the office with to the windows that enable them to let in sunlight and see outside. An office space can, and in many cases should be, an open canvas for the company to display who they are to both their customers and their employees.
Where curtains and posters used to be the only ways a brand could customize its walls, large window decals and office graphics are gradually staking their own claim in the interior design field, and with good reason. Digital window graphics can be custom designed and printed to reflect the unique visual aesthetic of an office while also respecting and maximizing the space it offers. When you adorn your windows with clever, fun, and appealing designs, you can filter out exterior distractions, control the glare from sunlight, and ultimately incorporate your brand’s personality and style into the workplace.
Easy and Affordable to Install
Applying window graphics to your office is a simple, straightforward process that can go a long way towards energizing your work environment in a cost-effective way. When properly installed by a professional, window graphics can be placed right on the glass for a smooth appearance that’s completely bubble-free.
Building a Brand
Your company’s brand is one of the most important things to capitalize on. Strong, memorable branding will stick with your customers and your employees, building trust and loyalty. When you add unique, aesthetically pleasing window graphics to your office space, you are investing in a workplace aesthetic that reflects the values and creativity of your brand and the people that make that brand possible.
If you’re aiming for a sophisticated, upscale look for your office, then window graphics are the way to go. They have the appearance of etched glass, but none of the cost. They’re affordable and can capably bring out your company’s name, logo, and colors, and emphasize your brand’s overall message and principles to the people you’ve hired to maintain it.
Window graphics can be removed as well, meaning that the design of your office can change as your brand does. Nothing is permanent, and if your company decides to undergo a facelift at some point, then you’re going to want to update your workplace to reflect that change. That being said, permanent window graphics are built to last, especially those made with scratch resistant materials.
Tell Your Story
Part of a good brand is a good story. Stories resonate with people, and the more visible your company can showcase its own story, the easier it’ll be for your employees - and your customers - to feel connected to something bigger than themselves.
While window graphics can be useful expressions of your company’s personality, they can also be used to illustrate the journey it’s taken to get where it is today. If you have glass surfaces in the interior of your workplace, then use that real estate to retell your company’s story. Create a timeline that outlines the evolution of your company, showcase profiles of the founders, or even use this space to highlight your most exemplary employees.
Whatever you can do to capitalize on the unique story of your company will pay off by making it easier for your employees - the lifeblood of your brand’s success - to feel like they’re playing an important role in a bigger story.
Increase Productivity and Creativity
In a 2014 survey conducted by Gallup, 51% of employees claimed that they weren’t engaged with the work they were doing, while another 17% said that they were actively disengaged while at work. Another study, this one was done by Nature.com, reported that “that aesthetics, as measured by ‘scenicness,’ may play a central role in the environment’s ability to affect our health.”
What this illustrates, then, is the design and environment of a workplace does not go unnoticed by employees. A space that lacks aesthetics and smart, attractive designs is a space that does not encourage productivity or creativity in the people who work there.
Window graphics can also offer a unique sense of privacy to employees who aren’t in love with an open office layout, as monolithic glass, laminated glass, and double glazed glass units can all be used to help reduce noise and acoustic effects within collaborative spaces, maximizing individual productivity and focus.
When you have a workplace that is interesting to look at and aesthetically beautiful, however, then you’re going to see growth in your employees’ productivity. A healthy, ambient office is an office that encourages a positive mood, and a positive mood is one of the best ways to better someone’s outlook and productivity.
Vibrant, energetic window graphics can be a great tool in combating office fatigue and emphasizing a workspace that people want to spend time in. They can add a splash of visual ingenuity into an otherwise traditional office; encourage employees with clever, validating phrases; and ultimately mirror the creativity you want to see in your employees.
How to Get Started
Wherever you are in your workplace’s lifecycle, and whether you’re a business owner, architect, or building manager, it’s never too late to start taking advantage of the benefits an impactful window graphic design can have. The opportunities are just about endless, and with LINTEC Digital Window Graphics among your design materials, you can add vibrant colors and exciting designs to any of your windows or other glass surfaces.
Our window film graphics can be printed in all manner of styles and colors, so you can have complete control over how they pair with your office’s pre-existing aesthetic, encourage your employee’s creative processes, and uniquely facilitate their productivity. We use optically clear adhesives outfitted with solvent-based acrylics, meaning that our products are compatible with all of today’s printing technologies and are uniquely designed to never crease or buckle amidst the printing process.