Corporate DNA, Focus, Flexibility, and Flow as the Foundation of the 21st Century Office

Mar. 2, 2019

The announcement of the Zasedačka roku 2018 (Meeting Room of the Year, 2018) winners took place in February where we were the partner in the Smart Cooperation category. The goal of the competition was to recognise companies and offices that deftly react to technological advancements and the changing demands levied by employees. We are living in a wonderful age where offices adapt to our rhythm and corporations themselves are taking visible steps to create workplaces that show employees are the primary customer.

Thanks to its universal nature that goes beyond commercial real estate, this competition offers experts and the general public alike an opportunity to see the latest workplace trends and what the future may bring for offices. The talk is all about a healthy and adjustable work environment, which was confirmed by the event’s chief organisers, CBRE’s Renata Mrázová and Ivona Novotná.

“Awareness about wellbeing is constantly growing among corporations. We see many of them think of acoustics, ergonomics, proper lighting, air flows, adjustable furniture, zones for various types of jobs, and indoor greenery. We certainly still have a way to go in this respect, but this phenomenon has been increasingly prominent in the last 2-3 years.”

“Contrary to the past, companies almost always bring in experts from the very beginning, especially architects. Using specific analyses and numerous interviews with corporate ambassadors, they create offices that offer not only the demanded workspace capacity, but also reflect the company’s corporate identity, its values, culture, and they will be functional for years. It’s not just about having an office that looks cool, but it needs to offer comfort and function to those who sit inside.”

Technological and consulting company Trask solutions, the winner of “our” Smart Cooperation category, fulfilled these criteria splendidly. The judges praised not just the interior and equipment, but also the participation of employees in proposing the office from the beginning.

“Their willingness to participate in the process surprised even me. I guess the main request was a calm environment for work. With the growth in the interactivity of work, with people meeting more, discussing, and holding video conferences and workshops, it can be hard for many employees to find the right flow at work so they can concentrate. I’m proud we were able to combine these two needs. We did away with traditional open-space floor plans while keeping total openness. We reflected most of the current trends in our design: from offering standing desks, relaxation zones, a gym, and a nursery,” Trask solutions CEO Filip Tománek said.

Offices of the Future, Ideas from the Past

Few people probably realize that today’s individual and thoughtful approach to the flexible and healthy design of offices adaptable to instant needs and specific types of employee activities has its roots in the late 1950s when Eberhard and Wolfgang Schnelle presented their idea called Bürolandschaft (office landscape). They did away with the traditional ordering of desks and proposed a more diverse and organic layout of furniture, greenery, and workspaces to promote cooperation and communication between employees. This approach lost out to the hierarchical management structure of the 1970s and companies opted for today’s infamous cubicle open space layout that lasted through the end of the 1990s.

The technological transformation of the 21st century revived elements of Bürolandschaft, although this time more digital and with an even more concentrated focus on a highly-personalised work environment.

“There’s also been a huge shift in offices utilising various technologies as a result of people at many companies having the option of working from anywhere they like. In today’s world with its various cyber threats, this can pose quite a challenge, but those that succeed have a certain competitive advantage because especially younger people want to work differently,” the CBRE representatives said.

We cannot agree more, and we’re excited about how designs of offices and work habits will change for the youngest generation, especially those that we’ll have the chance to recognise for their excellence in just a few years.

BTW Check out the best Czech offices of 2018 here.

Aneta Klímová
Aneta Klímová