Jo Why Lee

London - United Kingdom

    5 Characteristics of the Modern Office

    May 30, 2014

    Gone are the days of dingy, grey, cubicle-based office spaces. Instead, modern office environments are moving progressively towards open, flexible spaces that promote collaborative, creative working in an attempt to ensure people enjoy coming to work each day. Combining a number of main components, the trendy offices of today are innovative, imaginative environments, specifically designed to enhance productivity and employee satisfaction.

    Flexible Working Spaces

    Traditionally, corporate offices have consisted of segregated working spaces – through the use of both cubicle-style desks and office partitions. However, instead of just being a way to discourage non-work related discussions, segregated offices have been shown to be detrimental to productivity and a drain on creativity. Open-plan working spaces, on the other hand, allow for interaction and collaboration and studies have shown that they can even improve the mood of employees. Modern day offices tend to implement flexible working spaces and utilise a combination of departmental desk layouts and communal working areas to encourage both individual and team-based working. Not only is this great for creativity – and often leads to a much higher standard of work being produced – but it can also help to improve in-house relationships and communication.


    With an increasing public emphasis on protecting the environment, many commercial offices are creating spaces that are eco-friendly and committed to improving sustainability. Therefore, part of the office design process involves choosing and installing ecological office components, such as automated lighting systems, energy saving computers and recycled office furniture. Reducing the environmental impact of office organisations is not a one-off project, however, and involves building a company ethos and policy. This can include installing recycling bins, making sure equipment is always switched off at the end of the day, encouraging a paperless office and using environmentally friendly office products (such as refillable ink cartridges and mugs instead of disposable cups).


    Customising an office – both throughout the space with company branding and by allowing employees to personalise their individuals work stations – helps to produce a creative, innovative environment. Corporate identity can be injected throughout the building through its design, such as by using colour, logos, wall murals and statement pieces of furniture, all of which will help create a brand personality and a sense of fun. Similarly, objects such as plants, fish tanks and pool tables will make an office much more homely, improving employee satisfaction, morale and productivity as a result.

    Health and Exercise

    Healthy employees are, in general, much more productive. Not only do their increased fitness levels ensure that they are more active and focused throughout the day, but they are also less likely to take time off from work due to illness or injury. As a result, modern office environments are encouraging healthy behaviours amongst their workforce. There are many simple things that can be done to improve health and fitness within the office, such as providing healthy snacks and installing bike storage to promote cycling to work. Some offices are going even further and taking larger steps to encourage health and exercise, including installing gym areas or organising fitness classes.

    Breakout Areas

    Breakout areas are now a staple of the modern office. Well-executed breakout zones create communal areas with a relaxed environment, perfect for relaxing or socialising at break times as well as holding an impromptu or informal meeting. They are a fantastic way to promote teambuilding and improve staff morale and social relationships. Similarly, when used for work purposes, breakout zones are a great space in which to share ideas and work collaboratively. Most successful breakout areas include a combination of comfortable seating, tables and chairs and a supply of refreshments. Most offices provide refreshments through the use of vending machines and coffee machines, giving staff a huge range of options that are both convenient and affordable.

    Written by Express Vending – specialists in the provision of refreshments for commercial environments.

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