The remote work movement is really the subsection of society that is championing this new wave, with the design industry taking the opportunity to flex some muscle with regards to facilitating the transition. Working environments are moving towards the malleable.
Remote workers are shifting to a more modular and agile lifestyle, with work output taking on a more diverse forms. So why would the space from which we work not also follow these philosophies? One specific consideration of our changing working environment is the workforce being more multigenerational than it has ever been — hence the coined phrase “The 5G Workforce.” Design ethics are now altering to accommodate this phenomenon creating a new world to contain it.
This poses the question, why go to a workspace at all?
Co-working and collaboration. Being human.
The workspace is not your traditional office anymore, it’s not a 9–5 cubicle. Being in a functional workspace brings human connection, collaboration and community . Within the realm of design, traditional offices are changing to incorporate modular, circular design elements, creating areas that encourage collaboration and discourage the previous ‘siloed’ style of working.
A space needs to be human-orientated, environmentally driven, and intuitive. Applying the idea of the “4 hour working day”, where innovation is used to quantify not only the output but the process, design has become focused on efficiency and wellbeing rather than the traditional methodology that emphasized hierarchy.
A future look that leverages technology.
Imagine you could work in a space that optimises your output, monitors your brain engagement, concentration, and blood sugar. This would require the optimisation of working environments while incorporating technology that produces specific scientific data. This is the future. Spaces will be designed to be aligned with personal thought mechanisms and preferences, enabling deeper engagement.
As technology develops so rapidly, we need spaces to engage with tech but also to detract from it. We need to replace the goal of “Work-Life Balance” with “Digital-Analogue Balance”. This is apparent when discussing the in vogue topic of AI and neural networks: the man vs the machine concept. It’s clear we need both, one can’t survive without the other. It’s the designers’ responsibility to facilitate this relationship without eliminating the paramount need for human interaction. A workspace needs to be designed to enable discussion as well as individual processes.
It’s not just desks and laptops anymore. New workspaces are now designed with circadian lighting to boost alertness and concentration. Dynamic scents are applied to promote energized relaxation and freedom areas are designed to induce expressive creativity. Needless to say, the co-working space is a topic on many a company’s agenda.
The MoreySmith designed co-working space, “Deskopolitan”, in Paris, fitted with a barber shop, beauty suites, and art studios is a strong example of this type of innovative design. It applies concepts of the anti work-life balance mantra, in that it is designed to be a life space, where you spend your time holistically.
Forget SmartCities. Smart Co-working is faster approaching.