The way we work is changing and so is where we work! In the last few decades, workspace interior design has been developing tremendously and technology is playing the biggest part in it. With innovative solutions making their ways in our lives, technology is the enabling factor in transforming our offices. This can be seen in the way how workspaces are becoming more global and purposeful. From the cubicle days to cloud-based employee interaction days, we have seen a hierarchy of technology integration in workplace interiors.
Besides making life easier and more convenient at work, hi-tech in office space dynamics also adds an appeal to the place that aids companies to attract the smartest talents and in retaining them as well. As people and their lives are transforming proportionally along with the inventions of newer technologies, implementing the automated technical aids into the workplace will be a transformative response from the workplace design.
So what does a hi-tech workspace hold?
Flexible work options, purpose-centric office spaces, high-end employee well-being features, and elimination of fussy hardware are definitely on the list. Typically, technology integration becomes an aftermath while designing a place, but in the near future, it will become a part of the plan from the first phase of building the design itself.
Workspace design, technology and the new trends
With the collab working culture becoming the thing, interior design of workspaces is inclining towards an agile and functional dimension, where the staff’s requirements of right tools and technology are the main concerns. Today’s design tends to be more interactive and engaging, particularly with the inclusion of contemporary technical applications.
Technology’s capacity to make workspace interiors more utilitarian is on the rise and will only continue to evolve. Here’s a look at some of the revolutionary technological concepts that are or are going to become the next frontiers in the world of workplace design.
a.Applications that make life easy
When our phones are growing smarter with new and innovative apps every day, why can’t our workspace have the same? App-savvy workplaces are a powerful enablers that can change the work systems. There are different interactive cloud-based team collaboration interfaces that can easily put you in touch with your team across the globe. There are also different visitor management apps and software that help in knowing the availability of spaces for meetings, your favorite hot-desking space, blocking conference rooms and scheduling huddles among team members. The world has become smaller with communication becoming simpler and so have technologies like video teleconferencing and shared white-boarding – the pillars of any global organization.
b.Ambient Intelligence that makes offices more people-centric
Including ambient intelligence in the workspace environment would be revolutionary in many aspects. In today’s time when we are increasingly connected to everyone, engaging employees to real-time relevance is of utmost importance. Ambient Intelligence is the tool that will textualize the captured data from the employees and their environment. This helps in building personalized and contextual interactions. By leveraging technological aids such as Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, workspaces can be made smarter and competent. Ambient Intelligence is the use of all these technologies collectively to improve the work environment such as optimizing lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and security in an entire building or floor, as well as individual rooms.
AmI can also be a great way to push a safety envelope around the workplaces, especially in construction or production sites. AmI can become the god’s eye view of the work environment, as well as the staff and can generate immediate responses in case of violations of safety regulations. One such example is the smoke alarm. Another common example of ambient intelligence use in daily life is Amazon’s ambient-aware smart home assistant, Alexa. From setting up alarms, checking the weather, playing music and creating a shopping list, without the hassle of pulling out of smartphones, Alexa gives its users a natural way to interact with IoT devices.
Ambient Intelligence will include these properties:
Three key technologies of AmI:
- Integration of microprocessors into everyday objects in the environment, like furniture, to make an omnipresent computing system.
- A ubiquitous communication among different environmental objects and the user.
- A personalized user interface for the AmI inhabitants to control and interact with environment.
Adapting an ambient intelligent workspace will automatically make the space comfortable and agile. Besides encouraging a systemized office habitat, AmI can also work as a security blanket around your office.
c.Circadian technology for the well-being of staff at work
While designing workspace interiors, we are currently experiencing a paradigm shift in terms of design and its impact on the occupants. Employers are now looking into a more in-depth solution for the health and well-being issues of their employees. One of the important steps here is building a space that is in tune with the outer environment that supports and nurtures the occupants’ bodies and minds.
“Circadian rhythm is an internal body clock that regulates the 24-hour light and dark cycle of biological processes. Disruption of this rhythm can have a major impact on people’s health and productivity. In order to keep this biological process intact in the employees, WELL building standard has come up with strategies in terms of per day water intake, lighting facilities, etc.“
Circadian rhythms are managed by various cues and light is an important factor here. Office lighting isn’t just to help see things; it has a deeper impact on employee’s health. That is why circadian technology in terms of lighting is the next big thing in the interior design world, particularly for the workspaces. In operation, this technology will help in keeping the workspace lighting acquainted with the daylight. Thus, the light in the workspace will get brighter as you proceed through the beginning of the workday and the color temperature will get progressively higher, (corresponding to a cooler color of light), to mimic the diurnal cycle. By the end of the work day, the light will turn slightly dimmer, but significantly lower in color temperature, (corresponding to a warmer color of light). This technology will help in synchronising the occupants’ health in terms of the natural surrounding and keep them healthy and productive with the lighting interiors.
d.Technology aiding the design
Besides the application of technical aids in user experience, there’s also a large part of technology that is required in designing. From coming up with design visualization through cutting-edge rendering to providing Virtual Reality assistance, technology plays a great role in architecture and design. One of the great examples is the Building Information Modeling, aka BIM. It is the process of creating a 3D model of an infrastructure that enables proper coordination and simulation during the period of a project. It helps the clients to comprehend the designer’s ideas and easily visualize them.
Today’s office spaces are wired differently with a perspective to be more than just a place where you work 9 to 5. It is progressing to become more humane and more functional. And with technology ingrained right from the design phase, we will surely witness a new dawn of workspace interiors. However, Microsoft, in its recent Digital culture: Your competitive advantage, reported that “Impactful digital transformation isn’t really about IT. It’s about people. This is where company culture comes in.” Therefore, a highly advanced hi-tech workspace will be successful only if the staff feels positive about it.
Microsoft took the survey opinion from 20,476 workers in large (250+ employees) and small (50-250 employees) businesses across 21 European countries. The multinational technology giant examined productivity and digital culture. Here’s the result.
At Zyeta, technology underlies in every aspect of design planning. Right from the pitching to the ideation of different design factors, we integrate technology in every step to improve the client’s experience. With technology getting better every day, we are certain that we are at the very start of a newer age workspace design. What about you?
Related read: A Technologically Enhanced World