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Office Compatible with Company’s DNA

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Sylwia Pędzińska, Director of Workplace Innovation Department at Colliers International, discusses the way how offices have changed over the past 20 years and why it is actually worth investing in them.
Sylwia Pędzińska, Director of Workplace Innovation Department at Colliers International
Sylwia Pędzińska, Director of Workplace Innovation Department at Colliers International

The impact of office on employee’s productivity has recently been a very commonly discussed matter. The role of working environment is more and more often emphasized during the recruitment process. Is it really true that people who conduct business activity in Poland attach importance to office design?

Working environment quality does have an impact on employee’s productivity and satisfaction. It also improves employer's attractiveness among potential candidates for a job. In effect, companies depart from a standard office model and choose more individualized space which reflects their values and specifics. It is especially noticeable in the industries where there are some difficulties in gaining specialized employees and in all other places where the way of performing work requires concrete functional solutions.

All changes occurring in office space are related with evolution of work – with a changing scope of duties, management style, development of technologies, employees’ needs, etc. How exactly have offices changed over the past 20 years?

Offices have been definitely evolving over the past 20 years in respect of corridor-office and hierarchical setting (considered unfavorable in the process of exchanging information) into open space with additional functions supporting individual work, which can be done in separate rooms in quiet or in small groups. A common standard is space dedicated to relaxation. Importantly, the implemented changes coincide with the changes in modes of work. At present, we work in a different way than even 5 years ago. Our work is varied and it changes from day to day, hour by hour. This specifics is taken into consideration during the process of designing office space in accordance with the methodology of Activity Based Working. Thereby, employees have an opportunity to adjust proper work space to activities performed in a given day.

One of the factors which have an impact on the evolution of work mode and its environment is development of technologies. We can perform many activities from any place all over the world thanks to the access to the Internet. Do we actually tend to blur the line between private and working life because of new technologies?

Indeed. New technologies do have an impact on blurring the line between private and working life. Nevertheless, this change also entails many advantages. Modern technologies provide us with greater freedom in choosing both the way and the place of performing our work. Thanks to remote working, we reduce the time of commuting from work to home and thus we gain additional time for ourselves. Remote working allows some people to concentrate more effectively than in the office full of co-workers. New generations, which are currently entering the labor market, appreciate greater freedom and they want to be assessed for the effects resulting from their work and not for the time spent at the desk.

 

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