Modern offices are a result of a substantial shift in understanding the psychology of employees and their relationship with the place where they spend most of their days
No, this is not only about the modern principle of open space. About a creative organization of a room. About a careful choice of materials which make everything that builds the basis of a contemporary workplace. About colors and design that don’t tire the eyes, but inspire new ideas. About the necessary amount of lighting. About the amount of space designated to each person so that no one feels cramped or restricted. Modern offices of contemporary corporations are all that, but also much more.
The research into the process of work and psychology of a person who is, by nature of their work, tied to their workplace for a certain number of hours, on a certain number of days, has given some useful results and answers to crucial questions. How does one increase the motivation to work? When does motivational crisis happen? How does one develop a relationship with their own work environment? How does that environment influence the attitudes of employees? Does it spark their ambitions, their desire to use all of their potential to contribute to the end result? It is exactly these dilemmas and answers in which lies the business philosophy of large corporations such as Google and Microsoft, the pioneers of the new approach to the physiognomy of a workplace, an example followed by many.
This is what brought about the different workplace design which at first seemed confusing, as it deviates from everything which had been seen before and was traditionally established. The relationship with one’s own profession is one thing, the relationship with the actual work environment and the working conditions in it is something completely different. It is a “game” of reason and emotions. Research shows that feeling as comfortable as if one were at home, being relaxed, and feeling like one belongs to their surroundings significantly increases motivation in employees, as well as the productivity of their work.
This is how workplaces whose setup was done by designers and whose basis was set by psychologists came to be. Modern offices are open, spacious, and pleasant. At the same time, they offer the feeling of intimacy and belonging. Aside from the standard, although upgraded desk and chair, there are areas with lazy bags and portable devices, rooms for entertainment in which one can play darts or video games, large pool tables, massaging chairs, open kitchens. Not only are employees not “bolted” to their two square meters of space, but it is a given that they should circulate, moderate the pace of their work, talk to each other, exchange ideas, and socialize. The notion of entertainment corners in a work environment is a consequence of the awareness of the amount and intensity of responsibilities, which in most cases cause stress, anxiety, and other negative effects which have become a part of building a career in the era of late capitalism. If employees feel at home while at work, unconditioned and unpressured by the hierarchy, they will build a much more positive relationship with the company they work for, but more importantly with their specific job and responsibilities.
The ability to take a break at a given moment in order to improve concentration and focus is priceless. A thirty-minute massage or a visit to the exercise room, which is also becoming increasingly common, guarantee an increase in productivity after the employee returns to the computer at the desk or the laptop on a lazy bag. This is why, as research shows, the number of those who count the seconds until they can run out of their workplace and go home keeps decreasing. The friendly environment and relationships with coworkers have erased the old notion of working hours. And breaks, of course! Work is valued by its results, not by the contract-determined presence at a certain place. Offices of the new age are sending a clear message. What counts is the essence, not the form! A satisfied person can be expected to do more than an unsatisfied one. This holds true for everything, and especially when it comes to work.