Go Banana predicts: Offices of the Future
Losing staff costs serious money; having to recruit and retrain takes time and investment, and a number of companies are now taking their staff’s emotional welfare extremely seriously. As the world of work changes and employees no longer satisfied to stay in one company for their working life, companies are having to put their best foot forward in the fight to retain talented individuals. And this is becoming clear in the design of a number of offices which sees the traditional layout eschewed for creative spaces containing a whole host of fun and fanciful activities. Google’s headquarters in Zurich has a massage room, aquarium as well as a slide to deliver engineers to the canteen. Meanwhile, the head of Deloitte in Amsterdam designed one empty room for employees to put in whatever they wanted.
Paper is overused and often abused, eco warriors have for a long time been warning us of the perils of paper and encouraging us to move online. Numerous banks and businesses are already moving towards being completely paperless with the latest one to get on board being Deloitte in Montreal. With only one storage drawer, their 1,100 staff are actively discouraged from using paper, and instead can give themselves a big pat on the back for saving Canadian air.
Offices have been one of the first to embrace smart technology – with sensors turning lights on and off, monitoring temperatures and even inform employees when the toilets are occupied to avoid any long queues. It could even help improve overall employee wellness with biometric sensors providing insight into restlessness, boredom, stress, poor posture or too much screen time.
Commuting can be pretty awful, especially in London where tubes, trains and buses are often delayed or cancelled with little rhyme or reason. It can be demoralising and, also a waste of time, with up to an hour wasted on both ends. More and more companies are therefore allowing their staff to work from home upwards of one day a week. Demonstrating an exceptional degree of trust as well as saving office costs, there is little doubt working from home is set the become the new norm over the next couple of years.
Quite possibly one of the most wonderful words ever invented, “biophilic” basically hopes to put workers in closer contact with nature. According to Oliver Heath who is apparently the “biophilic designer ambassador” at design agency Inteface, and presumably relaxing in a coffee shop in Shoreditch as we speak, has said that “reports… found that employees who work in environments with elements such as natural light and live plants report a 15 per cent higher level of wellbeing, are 6 per cent more productive and 15 per cent more creative overall.” Although this is not an entirely unbiased opinion, it does certainly make sense and is being adapted to companies worldwide. At Go Banana we have been inspired and bought a cactus we have called Fred and we are already feeling more productive.
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