They are the workplace of the future and offer more than just a desk: modern office concepts are flexible workspaces that boost collaboration and creativity and reduce costs.
The classic executive, single and double offices are still in demand because they enable highly concentrated work. However, these office classics also have the highest costs due to their enormous space requirements and the communication channels are longer, which makes project work more difficult. Often employees are not even at their workplace for a full five days because they are busy with customer appointments or work from their home office. With classic office concepts, these workplaces would remain unused during the absence.
Modern office concepts, on the other hand, have adapted to the changed working day and offer needs-based solutions that save costs and facilitate collaboration. In my last blog post I already explained how a business center can reduce your costs. Here I will now introduce you to the contemporary office concepts that contribute to this in more detail.
The concept of the open-plan office is not new and enjoys great popularity in companies due to the effective space saving and short communication channels for intensive exchange. However, large rooms in which 10 or more employees sit at their desks have the disadvantage that the noise level is high and thus concentrated work is disturbed by telephone calls, for example. The coming and going of colleagues is also distracting. All this makes open-plan offices not particularly popular with employees. With modern office concepts, however, there have been further developments of the open-plan office, which take up its advantages and limit its disadvantages.
The office concept of the group office combines the space-saving advantage of the open-plan office with work zones through flexibly placeable partitions. This provides visual and acoustic separation between teams that perform different activities. Each team gets its own quiet area, which can be rearranged after the project. With a sound-absorbing ceiling and carpet, more peace and quiet can be created.
With a team office, your team is housed together in one office, as with an open-plan office, but the space is smaller depending on the size of the team. Each team member has a fixed workplace, which means that the advantages of an open-plan office are retained. Due to the smaller enclosed space, in which only one team is stationed, the disadvantages of an open-plan office are largely avoided and concentrated work is possible.
The office concept of the combi-office consists of individual offices, executive offices and open areas that are jointly used as large and team offices. The individual and team offices are used by all employees who wish to withdraw alone or in a team for concentrated work. Often the individual offices are also used as rooms for telephoning in order to be undisturbed and not to distract other employees, sometimes supplemented by think tanks – i.e. acoustically screened retreats. In addition, the jointly used rooms can be subdivided in a team-oriented manner with movable partitions. This sounds ideal, but requires a lot of space, which makes this office concept very expensive. That’s why it is often associated with the principle of desk sharing.
The office concept of coworking creates the ideal working space for all those who need a fixed workplace in an office and do not want to work alone and/or only want to pay a minimal office rent. With up to six workstations, these are small team offices, the only difference being that instead of a team, several entrepreneurs sit and work in one room. The running office costs are shared and services such as telephone reception and secretarial services as well as meeting rooms and individual offices can be added if required. Freelancers, small entrepreneurs and start-ups in particular appreciate the work dynamics of coworking, as it not only allows them to make contacts, but also boosts their own motivation and productivity by working together.
With this modern office concept, business travellers do not have to forego the comfort of their own office when they are on the road. A day office can be rented for a single day or for several days. This is usually an individual office, but coworking space is also possible. With the option of also booking a meeting room, you have no restrictions compared to your own office.
The modern office concept of a virtual office is ideal for all those who need a renowned business address with service but cannot yet afford to rent an office. Other examples from my practice for entrepreneurs for whom a virtual office was ideal are freelancers who prefer to work from a home office and companies who need a branch office in an excellent location in a metropolis like Hamburg as an extension and for their image. A virtual office is not a letterbox company, but a legitimate service package, which can consist of a company sign in the business center, a local telephone number with extension, telephone answering in the name of your company and mail service if desired. This opens many doors that might otherwise have remained closed, and your privacy is assured because you no longer have to provide your home address on letterhead and business cards. The virtual offices offered in business centres have the additional advantage that they cost very little and you can add further services at any time. Business centers also offer an upgrade to a physical office and the possibility of reserving a day office or conference room.
Be it field staff, part-time employees or employees at conferences, meetings or conventions – their desks are often orphaned and therefore more expensive than necessary. The modern office concept of desk sharing takes advantage of this fact and provides fewer desk workstations than there are employees. This means that desks have to be changed constantly, but the workstations can be used to full capacity. Personal belongings are stored in roll containers. A further development of the shared desk is hoteling, where desks can be assigned via an internal booking system and individual offices, conference rooms or think tanks can be reserved.
I hope you have been able to decide which of the modern office concepts is ideal for your company and your current location. When renting in a business centre you have the possibility to adjust your chosen office concept at any time. If you would like further advice on your optimal office concept, please write to me! The next blog article in January will be about satellite offices.
Until then, good luck with your work.
With kind regards
Yours, Christian Schmidt