19 Dec Future of Workplace Flexibility – Physical environment
The reduction of the amount of wires needed to service the technology equipment may also pay dividends to the physical space requirements within the building. This could potentially see buildings constructed using different techniques that could allow more internal area to be given back the users. The potential of this increased space could give rise to higher ceiling heights improving the sense of openness users perceive and increased access to natural light. We see examples of this in buildings such as Epicentre in Amsterdam where collaboration through technology is at the essence of the working environment. Structures could also potentially become more lightweight and allow for greater overall volumes of buildings and reduced construction costs.
The internal environment of these buildings could also be more easily configurable with the reduction of the need to hardwire technology. Possible implications to space are the removal of walls, which then has a further impact on how users interact with technology that would have traditionally been fixed to partitions. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality could be used to solve this allowing the visual communication and data to be more immersive and intuitively interactive for users. This would not necessarily make your colleagues more pleasant to deal with, but the experience could be similar to having them actually being in the room with you.
Fig 1. Augmented reality interview with Edin Hazard following a Belgium international
The furniture, fixtures and fittings within these environments will also become connected items as the internet of things (IoT) allows these to become more intelligent. This will allow informed decisions on infrastructure to be made at an individual level and the performance of the space to be maximised for better utilisation throughout the environments life cycle. This means that offices, down to the individual desks, can be adjusted to personal preference and tasks. The environmental controls will no longer be limited to air conditioning through the building management systems but will encompass all aspects of the workplace.
Author: Noel Brewster, Senior Sales Executive