They were a must of every office. Firms could not make it without them. Today, they are obsolete. Let’s think back about the threesome that defined a workplace 10 years ago. What are the key elements of today’s offices? And what will be the most important in 10 years?
The office of the past (about 10 years ago)
1/ A landline phone
In 2014, there were still 1.9 million landline phones in the Czech Republic. Landline phones, without which no office could make it, have been gradually disappearing since 2002. Mobile phones freed employees from their dedicated desks and amplified the boom of hot-desking and co-working.
2/ An office or an archive?
Every Czech uses on average 129 kg of paper a year. To avoid chaos at the workplace, it was necessary to buy dozens of binders, folders, files, boxes…. Archiving tools stored in huge cabinets very much affected the office interior as well. But honestly, when was the last time you held a folder?
3/ Fresh air
The idea to save all “pen-pushers” from overheating was born 1839 years ago. The first mechanical revolving ventilator was put together by craftsman Ding Huan in 180 A.D. This simple device has been replaced with more sophisticated air-conditioning systems and more resourceful gender fights over remote controls setting the temperature.
1/ Energy in a mobile phone
A total of 6 billion people have a mobile phone. Many of them carry in their flat device a major part of their office – work documents, a calendar, a (virtual) assistant, an appointment book, mail and Solitaire. A mobile phone also changes the office interior. Plugs have to be everywhere so that mobile phones could be recharged at any time (only restrooms do not have them) until wireless charging stations become a part of a desk.
2/ A plastic key
A total of 35 billion plastic cards are made every year. They open building doors and force people every morning to completely rearrange the contents of their purse. With plastic cards, employees can print out documents and pay for their meal. Nevertheless, we give them one or two years at the most before they are replaced with mobile phones.
3/ Coffee and what’s more?
About 40% of firms mention coffee in their employment ads. Some of them mention an unlimited amount of coffee before mentioning how many weeks of vacation potential employees would get. Firms, such as Google and Johnson & Johnson, even have lounge zones with plants and comfortable furniture where their employees can go during their break to enjoy their coffee. It promotes teambuilding. Cappuccino first, Excel after.
The office of the future
1/ A virtual Hi
Virtual reality is not just for fun. The firm MeetingVR has already introduced special glasses for virtual meetings with virtual colleagues from around the world. In a virtual world you can of course share virtual data directly from the cloud. People participating in virtual meetings supposedly pay up to 25% more attention. Virtual meetings also cause nausea, which unfortunately is not virtual.
2/ It will obey just like a dog
Voice recognition and voice control known as Siri or Alexa has already been used to control mobile phones and smart households. It is just a matter of time when computers will obey us and the keyboard become retro just like the competition who can type more text per minute on a typewriter.
3/ A green future
It will be a hi-tech as well as an organic future. For instance, plants are an effective air humidifier since they release more than 97% of water, while reducing the concentration of dust and carbon dioxide, improving mood…. No wonder construction firms, such as Skanska, plant them not only inside offices but also around office buildings, on terraces and on roofs.