The new year brings with it a new age in the modern world of work. The rise of flexible work environments has many of us rethinking how we approach work. Numerous organizations have embraced employee needs for work-life integration, transitioning to remote or hybrid models. In this new age of work, the typical office space seems increasingly unnecessary. Less than half of owned or rented offices are currently being used.
Detailed in this video by the Wall Street Journal, considerable amount of thought was applied to reshaping workspaces in light of 2020’s pandemic. While this initial wave of office redesigns saw the sudden prevalence of plexiglass barriers and other contagion-focused aesthetics, an evolution of the office model rapidly began to unfold.
Illustrated here by WSJ, LinkedIn–among others–reduced the number of traditional desks by half and replaced them with casual workspaces for those team members who still want the occasional in-person experience. After all, while working from home is certainly popular, sometimes we may not want to work at home, as discussed here by Google’s Dart Lindsley and NextSpace co-founder Jeremy Neuner.
It might seem a no-brainer that deciding on a workspace is as simple as introvert versus extrovert—that certain personality types prefer to work in the privacy of their homes while others long for the offices of yore. But the truth is more nuanced than that–people are more nuanced than that. While a favorite coffee shop might be appealing today, maybe tomorrow it’s the tranquility of a park bench. Perhaps the day after it’ll be the energy of an office environment for collaboration and connection.
Creating optimal workspaces for our teams means recognizing that we’re all multidimensional. Greater attention to individual preferences and needs means understanding that preferences are contextual. Variety is the spice of life, and there is no one-size-fits-all model for every team member.
If anything, workplaces of the future require a continuous study of humanity and all the complexities thereof.
“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
– Jim Rohn
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