Over the years technology has become more and more important in the workplace. Across Kent and London workplaces, technology continues to become more and more prominent, changing the ways those Kent and London workplaces work and grow.
A few decades ago, it was in fact rare to see a computer, today personal desktops, laptops and tablets and mobiles are the norm. Less than 10 years ago, technology costs represented only around 5% of a company’s interior construction budget. Now, technology can take up as much as 25% or more of a total refurbishment cost. We have come to rely heavily on technology in the workplace and without it businesses would not be able to thrive or survive today.
Technology and Productivity
In an ever changing world businesses are always looking to improve productivity. Technology is one way to do this. By providing the right working environment and the right tools to do the job your staff can work more effectively and efficiently. In fact without the right tools, maximising productivity is impossible.
Technology isn’t just about personal computers, technology in the workplace has come a long way and workplaces will need to continue to evolve as a result of new technologies.
So how can technology influence Kent and London workplaces design and how we work?
Remote and Agile Working
With the use of workplace technology – tablets, mobiles; cloud storage and secure, robust Wi-Fi – many offices are being designed to be more focused for “agile working” (also known as activity based working or ABW, as well as allowing their staff to work remotely.
Instead of setting up a “traditional” office space with a desk and chair for each person, you create different work zones, each designed for a different purpose. By creating different work zones office flexibility is increased enabling your business to be more adaptable in terms of meeting day to day office needs. ABW provides far greater flexibility in where and how an employee can choose to work e.g. if staff find the office space they are working in is too noisy they can move to somewhere quieter and continue to work.
In the past staff have been “tied” to their desks when they wanted to get work done, today with the ability to move around and still access/complete work staff can work to their full potential in their ideal working environment.
This increased mobility can have a major impact on improving productivity as well as other factors like increased collaboration across teams, increased creativity and staff retention.
Communication and Cloud Based Software
Combining the use of laptops, tablets and mobile with the use of cloud based software, opens up more opportunities for remote and mobile working.
Many companies use cloud software like Dropbox for Business, G Suite (Google Docs, Drive, Calendar and more); Skype, Zoom (for conference calls), Basecamp, TeamViewer etc. (the list is endless). This host of software options opens up the office to allow staff to work “anywhere” without compromising productivity or the ability to access the information they need to get the job done.
Using communication software like Skype or Zoom also allows them to keep in touch and collaborate with their peers and team members, even when they are away from the office.
Gone are the days when an office needs to have stacks and stacks of paperwork piled up on desks. With the use of technology more businesses are going paperless which is clearly more environmentally friendly and can help businesses to free up more office space for other tasks.
Technology allows companies to become more organised and more efficient in terms of filing past paperwork and in being able to quickly and easily find files and information that are required. Saving time, money and space!
Achieving a Technological Office Design for Kent and London Workplaces
As mentioned above technology can be a huge driving force in making a business more productive by allowing freedom of movement and enabling staff to work remotely/on the go – in fact anywhere they want. However these changes in technology must be married with a change in office design and refurbishment.
Office design must move with advances in technology. Equally technology will help to shape the workplace. Whether you are moving to a new workplace or refurbishing an existing one it’s important to include technology as part of the project. However when it comes to incorporating technology into an office design it needs to be done in a way that compliments the business objectives and not just because it’s the latest technological advancement.
Clearly mobility is important so ensuring your Kent and London workplaces have robust, fast and secure Wi-Fi is vital when designing or refurbishing your office.
There is no point in encouraging flexible working if staff can’t get a good Wi-Fi signal in certain parts of your building or office floor. Ensuring router and stable Wi-Fi coverage across a whole building or floor is a must.
Making sure that there are enough charging points/stations and power points across an office space means that staff can move around unhindered by depleted batteries as they can always find a place to plug in and recharge is important. A growing trend is for powered furniture with built-in power points which also allow for multimedia capabilities giving staff the ultimate flexibility when moving around the office. No compromise in communication is needed as they can access their work from anyway and share it and brainstorm with colleagues no matter where they are.
Wireless charging devices are also becoming more prevalent allowing staff to charge devices while in meeting rooms or in break out areas.
Audio visual systems with interactive screens allow laptops to connect making it easier to hold meetings “on the fly” and whiteboards can be used to get a point across and to brainstorm latest ideas within a group. “Touch tables” (giant iPad tables), something unheard of in the past, are now becoming a useful tool in meetings.
Many of the technologies mentioned above are not strictly new, however when it comes to office refurbishment, unless planning goes into utilising these technologies and integrating them into a refurbishment businesses will not be using them to their full potential.
Technology and Well-being
Technology also plays a role in promoting the health and well-being of staff. The ability to move around the office can help improve productivity as office staff aren’t “chained” to a desk and can work from multiple locations. In order to achieve this office layouts and connectivity need to allow staff to work seamlessly.
How We Can Help
JBH Refurbishments are experts in office refurbishment projects across Kent and London workplaces. For a free on site consultation contact us on 0333 207 0339 or via our contact page to discuss your objectives and let out expertise guide you in how to make your office space work for you.