Search This Blog

Friday, February 20, 2015

Modern Office Definition Evolves; TPS Reports Still Excluded

Modern offices...

...include "an office space without barriers that can also be private."
...include workspaces and technology that "need to reflect that increased desire for flexibility."
...should "enable collaboration without sacrificing a worker’s ability to really focus on the job at hand."

With clearly a plethora of ideas as to what a modern office should look like, feel like, include and exclude, we shouldn't expect a single, solid definition any time soon. And why would we? The one aspect we can most likely agree upon is that the definition is ever-evolving; what is modern today will be pass√© tomorrow. Maintaining cutting edge status is critical to the success of a business and its ability to attract the most qualified new talent. 

As we continue to refine and evolve the definition and reputation of a modern office, here are a few simple ideas to consider: 

1. A modern office should have options. Not everyone can be productive and creative in the same type of space, with the same types of technology and sitting in the same type of chair. We also all learn, communicate and schedule our workloads differently. A modern office should accommodate such things. Standing desks, laptops, exercise balls as chairs and flexible work schedules are just a few things that provide much needed (and much appreciated) options. Also, keeping meetings under 30 minutes, allowing team members to call in to meetings or view them via web conference and providing various types of consistent professional development opportunities show team members that their needs and differences have been considered. 

2. A modern office should inspire its team members. We spend a lot of time at work. A lot. And no one wants to spend all that time in a lifeless cubicle maze reminiscent of Office Space. An inspiring office doesn't have to include a slide like Google's office or a video game room like Facebook's office (although both would be nice). 

Groupon inspires with brightly painted walls and modern office furniture. 

Nike inspires with art on its walls and sleek designs throughout.

Inspiring a team is more than just what an office looks like. Modern office spaces create a culture that allows team members to connect with each other and connect with their work. Show team members that they were chosen for their positions because they have something meaningful to contribute, not because you needed a role filled. Talk with your team members about the brand's larger goals and explain how their expertise contributes. Spring for in-office chair massages each month to show your team members you care about their energy levels as well as a relaxing environment. (Every moment of the day CAN'T be focused on meeting deadlines.) Encourage team members to express their personalities in their workspaces and attire. Provide your team members with the time and space needed to complete tasks at their own pace without micromanaging. Share knowledge; don't hoard it. Oh, and have some cool gadgets like these around to liven up even the longest of days. 

(We all need to take a few moments to rest in the office from time to time, right?)

3. A modern office should have free food. Lots of it. If you work for Google, you'll never go hungry. The brand feeds its employees three times a day for free. And I don't mean square pizza, an orange and a box of chocolate mil√† la elementary school. I mean a variety of dishes made from fresh, organic food from menus around the world that fit several dietary needs. 

Of course every business can't provide perks of this magnitude, but with some creative budgeting, businesses can inspire a "the team who eats together works together" mentality. Provide breakfast or lunch once a week. Have a cupboard full of healthy snacks. Pass out water and juice to help team members stay creative and productive throughout the day. Acknowledge your team members' different dietary needs and provide options. 

Ask your team members what the modern office means to them and what they think it should include. I guarantee no one will say TPS reports. 

By: Susan Gail Taylor, Social Media Manager and Copywriter at RME360