December 15, 2022

Office concepts of today and tomorrow

An unstoppable development: the classic individual office is dying out. And it has been for a long time. Instead, companies are investing in modern, open office concepts.

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Digitalisation and the rise of agile working methods in a globalised world are leading to major changes in how and where we work. The classic workplace with a fixed desk is increasingly losing its importance. It is being replaced by modern office concepts of the New Work era that promote communication, collaboration and creative exchange.

What office concepts are there?

Classic, conventional office concepts will soon be the exception in modern companies. Those who want to be progressive and keep pace with development and competition will redesign their office spaces - in line with the modern, smart office concepts of tomorrow.

Traditional office concepts

Cellular office concept

Yesterday's classic is characterised by individual office rooms leading off from a central corridor. Cellular offices are typical for public administration. Their usefulness for this sector is based on the legal regulations regarding the privacy of clients, which must be strictly adhered to.

The advantage of this office concept: cellular offices are familiar structures in which many employees feel comfortable. Concentrated work and an individual design of the workplace are possible without any problems, as long as not too many employees share one office.

The disadvantages are the large amount of space required and the long communication channels. In addition, the cubicle office concept is hardly suitable for modern companies and working models in which teamwork and exchange are the main focus.

Individual office concept

Although the working world is changing, this office concept is still very popular, especially on management floors. 

The advantages are obvious: confidential discussions, personal furnishings and focused work are possible at any time. In addition, the individual office or executive office functions as a status symbol - as a place where companies present themselves.

For modern companies that strive for flat hierarchies, however, this office concept is unlikely to be of any significance.

Open-plan office concept

In an open-plan office, all workplaces are located in one large area, which may be divided by open partition walls. This office concept accommodates a relatively large number of employees in a small area and keeps communication channels short. This makes fast, flexible communication within and between teams possible without any problems and the employees are in constant exchange. The result: productivity increases, new colleagues are integrated more quickly and the working atmosphere is promoted. 

Big disadvantage: with more than 20 workplaces, the noise level is quite high with this office concept, which results in stressed employees and a drop in concentration. In addition, there is hardly any privacy and opportunities for retreat, which makes confidential discussions difficult. 

Group office concept

The group office is comparable to the open-plan office, with the difference that the office space is divided into individual units with 1-4 workstations. This makes the group office quieter, but communication without spatial boundaries is also possible. 

By combining the advantages of a cellular and open-plan office, this office concept is ideal for advertising agencies, for example, where graphic designers, copywriters and programmers work together in teams and are linked by short communication channels.

Combined office concept

Similar to the group office, the combi office combines the best of both worlds. By combining individual offices with open zones such as a meeting room and kitchenette, each employee has a place to retreat for concentrated work without compromising communication between staff.

The disadvantage of the office concept is the relatively high space requirement. In addition, employees can be distracted more quickly because the individual offices are only separated by transparent partition walls. 

Modern office concepts

Companies like Microsoft, Google and Adidas have made open, modern office concepts an integral part of their corporate culture. 

New office layouts and the home office are becoming increasingly important. As a result, modern office concepts must above all be flexible and adapt quickly to different employee needs and work situations.

Open office concept by Upscale Spaces
Adia project by Upscale

Office concept Smart Office

The office, also called reversible, consists of both individual and group offices as well as meeting zones for teamwork. Thanks to the flexible partition wall system, the office space can always be adapted to the requirements and team size, which means that the office concept emphasises flexible, creative processes and direct communication. 

The smart office concept is particularly suitable for companies whose employees work a lot in work and project groups whose size varies frequently. 

Desk Sharing or Multi Space 

Probably the most promising office concept of the future is the office without fixed workstations. In a multi-space office, employees are always looking for a new workstation - personal belongings are stored in roll containers or lockers.

Multi space
Adia project by Upscale

The office concept with free choice of space is ideal for companies in which the staff changes regularly or which employ many part-time employees and freelancers.

In this way, no workstations are left unused by field staff or due to illness, holidays or home office.

The Multi Space office concept offers an open working environment with individual workplaces, combining single rooms with telephone booths and meeting rooms.

Desk sharing guarantees optimal use of space and thus sometimes achieves high cost savings for companies. The changing workplaces promote creative processes as well as fast and flexible communication. In addition, a clean desk policy ensures more order and cleanliness in the office. 

Disadvantage of the office concept: fixed teams do not sit together and employees have to adjust to new workplaces again and again, which could have a negative impact on productivity. In addition, in large office spaces, colleagues may have to be searched for longer and the daily search for workstations could be stressful for some employees.

Non-territorial office

Whether it's a home office, a café or a hotel room: the non-territorial office is basically outside the entrepreneurial scope, as it describes the place chosen by employees themselves where they work remotely - i.e. on the road.

They only meet in the office for meetings and thus save a lot of time and nerves on the other days by not having to travel to work. 

The disadvantage of this office concept: it requires a lot of self-discipline from employees and blurs the boundaries between work and leisure.

Open Space office concept

Basically a form of open-plan office, the Open Space office is characterised by a working area divided into different functional zones. Each employee has a fixed desk, and there are also conference rooms for meetings, lounge zones with sofas and seating niches for confidential communication. 

The Open Space office concept is thus ideal for exchange and communication and promotes transparent working, making it ideal above all for creative work (alone or in a team).

Business Club office concept

The Business Club office concept offers employees who are not often present, but who work in the office from time to time, a central contact point with shared infrastructure and different work areas. 

This makes Business Clubs a good option for companies or departments with many field staff.  

Office concept coworking

Modern Lunchroom
Adia project by Upscale

The coworking office concept involves workplaces in an office community that can be rented individually. The coworkers work on their own, but share space such as a kitchenette and toilets.

Depending on the coworking space, the design can go far beyond this minimum, so that lounge areas, meeting rooms, work cafés, think tanks and telephone booths are also available to the users. 

The office concept is ideal for freelancers and start-ups who need to plan flexibly, and also for anyone who needs a change from working at home or in the office. 

A big plus: the coworking space office concept creates a community in which contacts can be made and a network built up quickly and flexibly.

Modern office concepts and their advantages

Modern office concepts promote agile working

Companies should implement modern office concepts sooner rather than later. The reason: 75% of employees appreciate the newly gained flexibility through home office and remote work and want to work this way in the future as well. Attractive office concepts and modern office design are essential to retain good employees and attract new ones.

Modern office concepts promise cost efficiency and success

Strategically thought-out office concepts lead to cost savings. Modern office concepts are flexible and adapt to the challenges of the future. A sensible use of space reduces expenses and a working environment adapted to the needs of the respective form of work makes work more efficient. This motivates employees and promotes exchange among them. The result: satisfaction and loyalty to the company are strengthened.

Modern office concepts promote interaction

In modern office concepts, employees from the home office and the office come into contact with each other, which maintains identification with and loyalty to the company even at a distance. 

Meetings in lounge areas, creative hubs and work cafés as spaces for exchange are particularly important, as professions and fields of activity can no longer be strictly demarcated from one another but mesh like cogwheels. Short communication channels and having colleagues in sight are therefore essential for office concepts that promote productive, interactive work.

In addition, social interaction in the workplace is becoming increasingly important. Because employees who feel comfortable are more strongly connected to a company and thus become satisfied, valuable employees for many years to come. 

Biophilic Design

In the modern, yet hectic and demanding world of work, the focus is on people and their needs. It is therefore only logical that companies create the best possible working and living conditions for their employees with modern office concepts. 

It has been proven that nature has a positive influence on our well-being. Whether plants, sounds of nature, organic shapes or simply images of nature: everything that is connected to the natural outdoors has a positive effect. 

Biophilic design brings nature into today's offices. 

Biophilia, by the way, means "love of the living" and refers to man's innate connection to nature. 

Originating in the construction industry, biophilic design is now also used in office interior design.

Ways to integrate biophilic design into office concepts

  1. Create direct connections to nature

Natural materials such as plants, wood and stone, but also natural sounds and scents integrate natural aspects into office spaces.

By the way: plants not only visually support a biophilic office design. They also produce oxygen and clean the air by absorbing pollutants. In addition, they keep the relative humidity high, which has a positive effect on the indoor climate and health.

  1. Parallels to nature

Even the imitation of natural elements triggers the same feeling of well-being in the brain as actual contact with nature. Natural colours, shapes and lighting conditions therefore indirectly establish a connection with nature.

  1. Natural environment

Humans have a natural need to want to see beyond their immediate surroundings. At the same time, our instinct longs for places of retreat. 

A targeted use of work niches and smart room partitions can subconsciously convey this connection to nature.

Conclusion: office concepts must adapt

Today's modern office concepts must adapt to the different needs of employees and working models. Companies must define where wishes and needs lie and where possibilities and necessities lie. Based on this, you have to decide on a concept individually.

Depending on which office concept you choose, the design of the premises may vary. 

If you need assistance with the design of your office, contact us now.

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