Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

The Office Of The Future

Our workplaces should motivate us and bring out the best of our abilities. But many of these spaces hurt our productivity by killing our mood.

Consider the typical office building.

An open space coloured in hues of grey. Low ceilings. Fluorescent bulbs. And a boss leering over your shoulder.

Open office spaces are the norm.

Why?

The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, would reply, “Because we believe in serendipity and people walking by each other teaching new things.”

But creating more opportunities for collaboration comes at the price of productivity.

Even if you’re not aware of it, a phone ringing in the background can ruin your concentration.

Not only do interruptions hamper our thinking, but traditional office design negatively impacts our performance.

You see, the iconic buildings that grace a city’s skyline are rotten to the core.

Beautiful on the outside, ugly on the inside.

So it’s only natural that office workers are fed up with corporate life. Offices aren’t designed for the people who use them.

And how could they be?

An architect doesn’t know who is going to be the building’s tenant. Design the wrong interior and nobody rents the office.

Which is why most workspaces look like desk-filled hangars. And why an office in Paris is identical to one in Tokyo.

It’s hard to hate.

Does this mean we’re doomed to have uninspiring workplaces?

No.

Architect Eric Veldhoven designed a building for an insurance company in Holland.

And it’s an amazingly stimulating work environment.

The office has dozens of unique areas. Colourful rooms. Open spaces. Small cabins. All based on triggering different emotions.

Each area is equipped with everything an office worker needs.

And employees have the freedom to choose where to work.

So every morning Emily arrives at the office, she decides what she’s going to do, and where the best place is to do it.

And to top it off, Eric’s empowering design increased productivity by 20%.

Which brings us to the root of the corporate problem.

Trust.

Modern day offices are made to deal with workers like prisoners. If not monitored, employees will riot.

So every office worker is herded into an open and surveyable space.

But unless the office bigwigs are ready to trust their workers to do their jobs wherever they please, the mood-killing office will live on.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach