Offices are places where we spend a lot of our waking hours. They have changed significantly over the previous decades, and the modern working environment was largely solidified during the postwar era. Back then there were bullpens full of desks and the higher-ups had corner offices. After that cubicles gave us a little more privacy before becoming associated with cost-cutting and layoffs. Open offices seemed like a good idea at the time for collaboration, but we quickly learned that there are too many distractions. The office of today has options, from open common spaces to quiet private spaces, and there are some amenities employees have come to expect as well.
Modern offices combine many of the best parts of offices of previous generations into something that is more workable and usable than it has been in the past. While cubicles were great for privacy the hindered collaboration, so hybrid offices offer both private workspaces and community areas where people can work together. Being chained to your desk is no longer a requirement for working in an office. You have the option to move to a different area thanks to laptops, and many employers are working in desk options for the best ergonomics into their office layouts.
Among the options seen in modern offices, common areas with some sort of entertainment are pretty high up the list. Ping pong tables might be a cliche but they are very popular, as are foosball tables, pool tables, and other activities where people can gather to take a break and spend quality time with their coworkers. The modern office also has options for working, such as standing desks, pedal desks, or even sometimes outright onsite gyms for people to get their exercise in so they aren’t sitting all day.
Even with all these perks, in order to keep people around you still, need more. People are working longer hours than at any time in the previous few decades, and sometimes getting out of the office for lunch, coffee, and snack breaks just aren’t feasible.
That’s why the most important thing in any modern office is coffee, and even that has become elevated. Break rooms these days don’t just have a coffee maker and some powdered creamer that has been there since 1988. More offices these days have fancier coffee setups, sometimes even on-site baristas. In addition to premium coffee offerings, many offices are starting to offer perks such as free snacks and even free on-site meal preparation. Keeping the forces fed and caffeinated is better for productivity, and the appreciation also goes a long way toward employee retention.
If your office isn’t offering free premium coffee, snacks, and beverages, it might be time to push the subject with management. After all, keeping the team fed, hydrated, and caffeinated can make a big difference in the bottom line, and it pays to be competitive in all areas in business. Learn more about the future of the office and its best features from the infographic below!