As the traditional office is being made more flexible thanks to improving technology and mobile devices, the home office is becoming more important than ever. The notion of being at one desk for 8 hours a day is quickly becoming outdated with an increasing number of companies offering a "work anywhere" workplace style which allows employees to work from home or anywhere in the office. This trend towards flexibility in the workplace is quickly changing how we view offices and workplaces as a whole.
The home office is no longer just a laptop on the kitchen table. It is now a significant space within an increasing number of homes that requires thought, planning and design in order to be a productive workspace. The ability to work from home is something many employees look for in a job because they need or desire the flexibility that this provides. Companies who embrace the "work from anywhere" mentality will give themselves a competitive edge when recruiting and retaining employees.
Technology has made it possible for us to work anywhere there is an internet connection – even allowing us to attend important meetings or conduct job interviews through video or teleconferencing. This has allowed the office landscape to evolve and transform from static desks and offices to more open layouts that allow for more collaboration and interaction between employees.Health is another important consideration that many employees are focusing on with our lives being connected 24/7. With a work anywhere mentality, people are demanding more from their workplaces in order to have a better integration between work and home. Health initiatives like standing desks, ergonomic chairs for back support, plants/greenery and breakout areas with comfortable furniture are just some of the ways the office landscape is starting to look more like home than work.
Transforming the traditional office to a more collaborative, open environment that employees will actually want to spend time in is a high priority for many companies, especially start-ups that want to attract the best talent. Having funky office fitouts with themed meeting rooms and laid back break-out zones encourages imagination, creativity and boosts the mood (and therefore productivity) of employees. Despite the rise of working from home offices, many members of Generation Y want to work in offices that will nurture this creativity and playfulness, foster collaboration between them and their peers, and feel like a second home to them.
The downside of this ability to work anywhere is that employees no longer have a clearly defined workplace or working hours. Things have become so flexible that we have to try and navigate maintaining a balance between work and home life. However, the flexibility that working anywhere, especially from home provides is a necessity for a lot of employees so the office landscape is forced to change to accommodate this.