What will the ideal office of the future look like? PSFK has talked with Ryan Anderson, future technology head at office furniture firm Herman Miller, about underlying changes in how we work and how we furnish our workspace. Similar to the consumerization of IT, we are witnessing a consumerization of the workplace. People want to work in places that enable them to connect with others in a meaningful way. They want their workspace to provide a high degree of emotional comfort and visual inspiration. And there is a huge opportunity for designers and architects to make the office much more organic, desirable and interesting and much less focused on order, Anderson says.
There is also a trend toward a more active workplace (for example by introducing treadmill desks) as people want their workspace to support more movement and fluidity, which is triggering a revision of the one-size-fits-all assumption. Gone are the days when work was static. Now most people's work is divided into projects, which requires both solo and teamwork. This leads us to workspaces combining zones that are made more comfortable for collaborative work and others that enable more focused work.
Successful designers and planners of the office of the future are those closely watching emerging technology trends that are altering behavioural patterns in an era of multi-touch. Anderson further believes that the "build it and leave it" interior design mindset is something of the past and that the workplace will continue to evolve to enable interaction, similar to the social web, where the interface is redesigned every couple of weeks, driven by actual behaviors to create a better user experience.