The working demographic is changing; how is this reflected in the way we work? What does the future hold for our work spaces? Is the traditional office doomed? These are just some of the questions debated in Future Office: Next-Generation Workplace Design, new from RIBA Publishing.
Despite predictions that the office is on the verge of extinction, it is not only surviving, but thriving. Digital technologies have spurred this transformation, and with it, the metamorphosis of our entire working environment. The office of today can vary from a sweeping open expanse of ergonomic, futuristic workstations, to a local coffee shop.
The internet now means we can work anywhere, much to the satisfaction of millions. In fact, the number of self-employed professionals often working remotely has increased from 3.3 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and now account for about 15% of the working population.
However, human interaction and collaboration, the very essence of the workplace, remains key to productive, effective outcomes, and is often recognised as what’s missing when working remotely. Further to this, with four generations now working together for the first time, human-centric designs have never been more important for our workspaces.
Nicola Gillen, workplace market sector lead for Europe, Middle East and Africa, AECOM, said:
“The digital revolution is reshaping how we live and work every day, yet the role of people – specifically the workforce – is becoming ever more important. Putting people at the centre of design and decision-making is key to delivering the right environment to optimise creativity, innovation and productivity. Too often, their needs are overlooked in the design process. Human interaction and engagement must remain the focus as future office design evolves to support new ways of working and new concepts for the workplace.”
The collaborative work of twelve experts in their fields, led by Nicola Gillen of AECOM, Future Office considers everything from graphene to battery powered buildings, and provides an eye-opening guide for architects, designers, developers and occupiers to create office spaces that promote wellbeing, innovation and growth for the future.
Dubbed “essential reading for everybody associated with planning and designing the next generation of workplaces,” Professor Jeremy Myerson of the Royal College of Art and Director of the WORKTECH Academy calls Future Office “the first comprehensive picture of what the future might look like.”
Bruce Daisley, Vice-President of Twitter through Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and author of The Joy of Work commented:
“Throughout the zesty, thought-provoking pages of Future Office, there is a clear message that if we are going to succeed in the future, we need to equip and adapt. As we set about trying to contemplate what the future of work looks like, let this stimulating, substantiated volume be your inspiration.”
So, is the office doomed? Only as we know it.