23 April, 2019
You roll out of bed, get yourself dressed and fed, and head out the door to join the ever-growing queue of traffic along the main road.
You watch the clock anxiously, counting down the minutes until you are forced yet again to explain to your boss why you're late.
You take a sip of your coffee in the hopes that it will perk you up. But, in typical Monday fashion, you hit a bump in the road and end up with hot coffee in your lap instead of your mouth.
Well, say goodbye to those Monday blues because it doesn't have to be that way!
Thanks to technology and the way the modern office has evolved over the years, you are no longer forced to repeat this frustrating routine each week. In fact, you may not have to leave the comfort of your home at all.
Read on to find out how working environments have changed and why today's offices are even better!
Get with the Times
Office environments have changed significantly in the last 50 years in every way. Their design. Their culture. Their productivity. It has all changed.
Companies are much more open to what their employees have to say when it comes to improvements in the office. They know now that the more comfortable their employees are, the more productive they are.
We are, for the most part, moving away from the oppressive nature of the cubicles of the 1980s and into an era of a much more accommodating work environment.
But it's not just the rise in popularity of open plan offices that is making employees feel more at ease. The culture of the office has transformed dramatically as well.
Behavior that was previously accepted without protest is being challenged every day, forcing companies to adapt to the current social and political climate and keep the safety and comfort of their employees at the forefront of their minds.
Feels Like Home to Me
Businesses are finding that the way to get the best out of their employees is to create an environment that encourages collaboration and socialisation.
When we are free to step away from our computer screens and take a proper break, we are much more likely to free up space in our minds for better, more innovative ideas.
Oftentimes, it is in chatting with a colleague over a coffee in a comfortable corner of the office that we are struck with our greatest ideas.
Having break areas in an office for employees to get a fresh perspective on their work or to simply take a moment for themselves is shown to greatly increase productivity.
People tend to work better in offices where there is soft seating available for a cosier workstation and where there is plenty of natural light streaming through the window.
When we feel trapped inside while the rest of the beautiful world carries on without us, we become distracted and anxious.
This incessant anxiety, day in and day out, is certain to have an effect not only on the person's productivity but also on their overall mental health.
Another method used to make working environments less austere is bringing the outside inside. Plants in the office brighten the atmosphere and add a splash of colour.
You've also got the added bonus of plants' magical powers of filtering and cleaning the air in the office. Stale air is a sure-fire way to make people dread coming in to work.
In addition, there is an increasing number of people who telecommute or work from home, so it's no surprise that the more homely you can make an office, the happier your employees are going to be.
Technology in the Modern Office
One of the greatest facilitators of better working environments is technology. As internet connections get faster and computers get smaller and more portable, more and more people are able to work on the move.
We are no longer tied to our desks. We have the freedom to choose where we work. To roam about the office until we find the perfect spot.
As a result, employees are free to have meetings in the more informal spaces in the modern-day office, such as the kitchen or break areas.
Where employees are more physically and mentally comfortable, they are able to work better as well.
The flexibility that technology in the workplace provides has created space for employees to work in whatever way is best for them.
There is no longer an unpleasant battle when a child is forced to stay home from school because of a cold. No negotiation with the spouse about who's going to stick around for the plumber arriving sometime between 7 a.m. and midnight.
Employers are allowing their employees to work from home much more frequently, eliminating unnecessary stress for the employee and maintaining the workflow for the employer.
Technology has revolutionised our working environment.
The Virtual Office
Technology has also allowed offices to morph into the best office there is—one that is anywhere and everywhere. The virtual office.
The concept of a virtual office began in the 90s but has truly come into its own in recent years thanks to the flexibility that modern technology provides.
It is all of the beauty of working remotely with the added bonus of an actual office space.
There is no need for anyone to physically be in the office, but you have the option if you need it. You can choose a variety of different packages depending on your office needs.
If you're overwhelmed by a phone that's ringing off the hook, you can get the help of a receptionist who will transfer your calls or take a message for you.
This keeps your business looking professional and allows you to focus on what's important instead of getting distracted by nuisance calls.
If you need a neutral space to meet clients instead of inviting them into your home, you can even opt for a package that provides meeting rooms.
This not only helps to maintain your professional appearance but also gives you and your colleagues the space to collaborate whenever you need it.
Time to Clock Out
The modern office has evolved and continues to evolve rapidly, right before our eyes. As we grow and develop as employees, employers also learn to adapt to ensure that we are all at our best at work.