Even before the pandemic, the nature of work was transforming. People were getting used to more flexibility and freedom. If people want flexibility, and office spaces are not used that much, why is there a tendency of office buildings becoming taller and taller? Money, power, vanity? Are these really the values we wish to base our urban development on?
In this vision of future most of the office buildings are going to scale down and change their basic function. As we carry with us most of our work tools, vital function of a traditional office space will be lost. Employee’s work will be based on performances and not on a physical presence. Office space will have a primary function of a place where employees come and collaborate. Building relationships between colleagues is crucial, not just for the company but to employee’s experience as well. People love to belong and feel a part of something bigger than themselves. Our home is already our second office. But, big disadvantage of working from home can be the feeling of isolation and loneliness which is why there should be a choice, a place where employees can co-locate.
Technology will make a great impact in helping spaces to be transformed at one click of a button. Office spaces, as well as homes, are going to become more fluid and multifunctional. Furniture is going to be foldable and adjustable, so that we can easily glide between multipurpose setups. Everything is flexible and adaptable so that the space can be used to its full potential, while being able to scale as needs evolve.
Architecture cannot act alone. Companies must reevaluate their values and promote work-life balance – it is in their long-term interest as well.
In the bright future we can make great impact on our planet by reducing this culture of WASTEFULNESS: waste of time (invested in building skyscrapers and commuting), waste of space (vast office spaces that are hard to rent) and waste of money (both for companies and employees).