Technology reshapes the face of the workplaces
This month, Business Review, invited us to answer some questions regarding the evolution of work environments. The statement belongs to Andrei Angelescu, Architect and Manager of COS’s Architecture and Design Department.
- What should companies do to create an office of the future?
Technology is rapidly altering how we live and work. We love the new conveniences that our devices deliver. But as technology becomes a co-worker and even a personal companion, employers are focusing in offering to their employees all the newest technologies and spaces that can incorporate the new technological challenges. Also proper lighting, adjustable desks and comfortable temperature control can actually work to increase their performance, allowing you to reap the benefits over the long haul.
- Tell us more about the projects you developed so far for companies from the perspective of the innovative working environment (including here the wellbeing part)?
Technology increases connectivity and mobility with the purpose of better communication, information access and flow. Technology is only as useful as it’s purpose and user friendly, therefore the technological advances allow for seamless integration with the physical environment. Technical constraints are fewer and so better care for all Wellbeing facets, physical, emotional and cognitive is attained. Innovative working environments create a safe haven for new ideas. Innovation is achieved by creating, sharing and testing of these ideas, therefor and Adobe or HP, defining a pilot work environment for testing the effectiveness of integration of mobility in a usually fixed workspace setup.
- What can you tell us about the Biophilic Design? What does it mean and what are its specifics and benefits for the employees?
Biophilia is a ‘love of life or living systems’. It’s our inherent human connection to the natural world. In an urban world of technology and industrial architecture, this fundamental connection can sometimes feel all but lost. Biophilic design is an innovative way to harness this affinity in order to create natural environments for us to live, work and learn. By consciously including nature in interior or architectural design, we are unconsciously reconnecting; bringing the great outdoors in to our constructed world. Natural light, vegetation, living walls, natural textures and materials and nature views will provide a positive impact. Biophilic Design increases performance and productivity, reduces stress among employs and absenteeism caused by illnesses.
- What can you tell us about the Work Life Center concept that was implemented within your company?
We shaped a new approach on flexible environment by understanding places that people react to and make them feel in a certain way or experience certain emotions. Using this knowledge we developed our work environment as an example for Human Centered Design, defining our social oriented Work Caffe and collaborative Innovation Center.
- What do you think it should be considered when designing spaces for today’s employees?
Since today’s employees value the present by acting now and changing the future, keeping in mind the user experience, the individual’s emotions and feelings will help shape the proper space for them. Addressing all senses using perception vocabulary the space will affect the user and in turn the users’ engagement. Targeting long term feelings that will shape the character of spaces, or emotions that energize the individual, the design of the space will blur the edges of the office.
- In your opinion how can companies create a harmonious working environment?
Helping create a project core team with the client including leadership members to set the company’s goals while assessing strengths and weakness will help conduct studies to establish a baseline for the actual status of the employees and set the steps needed to reach these goals. Implementing new ways of working, or even improving a work environment is a process that involves the user and the space. Space shapes behaviour that over time is culture. Space on the other hand must be flexible and react to the user, only then, harmony between individual and space can form a truly harmonious working environment.