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Design-wise, the modern office has undergone a seismic shift over the past generation.

Instead of cubicles and coveted corner offices, the modern workplace is an expanse of foosball tables, dogs, and mid-century-inspired desks stretched as far as the eye can see across wide-open spaces.

But beyond these radical design updates, the modern workplace has also evolved in a variety of other ways. From culture to technology, today we’re going to dive into how both the nature of work and how it’s being done has changed considerably in recent decades—and what you can do to keep up. 

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Move over, Baby Boomers, the next generation of the workforce is here. And they’re demanding change.

As of 2017, Millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—make up the largest generation in the workforce. They’re bringing with them new talents, capabilities, and work ethics. They’re also bringing a number of expectations about the type of companies they want to work for, the offices they want to spend their time, and the style of working they want to execute.

I think you’ll agree, we have a directional problem 

Remember your first day of classes at university? You arrive on campus with your bag brimming with materials, excited for a fresh start. Your first class of the day is in the business building, room A311. When you enter the front door, you have no idea which way to turn. Students and administrators are rushing about you on their own way to their own destinations. You hesitantly turn down one hallway and find yourself in front of room D110. Does the D denote a wing of the building? Are you looking for a room on the first floor since you’re in an A or the third floor since it’s room 311? What does it all mean? Where are you supposed to go? The panic starts to rise as the clock ticks. 

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“Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” – Groucho Marx 

What is a more valuable commodity than your time? Truly, there is never enough of it. That’s why when it comes to the time you spend at work, learning how to maximize the hours of your day is critical to success. Not only does good time management make you a more efficient and productive worker, but it enables you to better take advantage of the valuable time spent out of work as much as it allows you to maximize the time spent in work. This is a key component to a healthy modern workplace. 

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It and Facilities Management. There are no departments more critical to ensuring businesses stay humming every day. And perhaps, they’re the two most overlooked and underappreciated. We all know the stereotypes. IT stays locked in their dark server rooms until called out to help fix someone’s (probably stupid) technical problem. And facilities management might not even be considered until new hardware or services need to be installed or repaired. 

The reality is, these two departments work to ensure every other department in the company has the tools and resources they need to do their jobs. Both departments have evolved to meet the needs of an increasingly complicated office ecosystem. To understand how both departments must work together to ensure overall operational success, let’s start with understanding what each department actually does. 

 

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Consider a slow but consistent faucet leak. You may barely notice the individual drips, but before you realize, you’re up to your ankles in water. Bad meeting culture proliferates a company much in the same way. Examined in individual pieces, bad habits around company meetings may not seem like that big of a deal. However, often, those bad habits create a snowball of more bad habits that, when added together, result in an entirely toxic meeting culture.  

Is your company a breeding ground for bad meeting culture? Often, you might not even know it or know what to do about it. The result within the office is a lack of productivity, frustrated employees, and wasted resources. 

Know the signs of a bad meeting culture and the steps you can take to eliminate them. 

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These days, every smart business has their eye to the future. Not just for goal-setting, benchmarking, and bottom-line growth, but for cultivating the type of office environment that serves as a lasting space for attracting top talent and allowing workers to flourish. 

We’ve gone in depth with our own 10 steps to creating tomorrow’s future workplace today, which you can read about in one of our recent blog posts. With the right amount of planning that focuses around an understanding and appreciation of the way your employees work best, you don’t have to invest millions into creating the type of future workplace that rivals that of Google or Facebook. The future, after all, is all about people. 

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The modern workplace of today bears little resemblance to the modern workplace of 50 years ago. Just think about the mid-day booze-swilling, male-dominated, Mad Man-era office setting compared to today’s increasingly diverse, kombucha-sipping, dog-friendly open spaces. Some changes have evolved slowly like workplace diversity and others have cropped up seemingly overnight like gourmet coffee bars and company kick ball leagues. 

We’ve written a lot about the environment of today’s modern workplace, but as you strive to keep your company attractive and competitive today, it’s critical to plan for what’s going to make it shine in the future. The last thing you want to do is invest in a full-scale office remodel, only to find what you consider modern today is outdated thinking five years from now. Making those predictions may seem like an exercise in futility which office worker in the 1970s would dream that ping-pong tables would replace conference room tables and cubicles would relegated to the depths of office hell? That’s why we’ve put together a guide for planning for the office of the future. 

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Today's companies must think beyond just competitive salaries and generous benefits packages to attract top talent. The modern office environment has become the de facto face of the companies that workers are competing to enter. But businesses need more than modern furniture, open concepts, and cappuccino-slinging baristas to ensure the face of the modern company isn't just a facade.