Friday, February 21, 2014

New, Cool, and Strange Office Trends of 2014

Has your office changed recently? I mean, really changed? Most people will likely say yes, but the weirdness scale has definitely reached some new extremes in the past few years. Offices all over the nation have been implementing innovative new policies to see how they work. The goal is usually to realize the dream of the perfect office in which business, customers, and employees are healthy and prosperous. However, some of the ways companies achieve that goal seem a but unorthodox, but there are those who swear they work. In today's post, we'll examine some of the strangest office trends of 2014 and years past to see how they promote success!

Plants in the Office

Spider Plant

 Plants in the office really isn't anything new. Watching movies made in the 80s and 90s where plastic plants crouch in the corners of homes and workplaces can tell us that much. Most people agree that a bit of greenery in the office livens things up, but since when did we trade plastic for real? Well, in the past, plants were brought into offices mainly for aesthetic purposes. A fake palm in the corner helps round out the room and fill empty space. But many scientists have since suggested that real plants are the better way to go. Studies by the University of Hawaii, Rutgers, and even NASA have all done studies proving that certain plants drastically improve air quality. Greens like golden pothos, spider plants, gardenias and peace lilies are all low-maintenance plants adept at removing harmful VOCs from the air. They are highly recommended for the elderly and anyone with breathing problems, but they also make great natural alternatives to healthy office air purifiers for workers in the city as well!

No More Cubicles

Open Desking

Anyone that follows the trends of the interior design world has probably noticed this change. Big companies like Google and other multi-million dollar bread winners have strongly promoted open design configurations. The idea is that stylish modular workstations for office use are more open, allowing co-workers to collaborate and communicate much better than they ever did with cubicles. As a result, the workplace is more friendly, but does that mean it's also less productive? Well, many business owners would say yes. Often, when employees are given the freedom to move about and talk, they choose to do that rather than work. However, all of this doesn't change the perspective of companies like Google who swear this open desking is the key to success. Letting go of traditional cubicles is a big step, but it takes the commitment of all employees to keep distraction down and collaboration up. It all depends on the needs and goals of your business.

Going Paperless

Paper Free

With the advent of computers and the Green Revolution, paperless is big, but is it possible? Despite all the campaigns and inventions, most desks are still crowded with enough books, pamphlets, and sticky notes to make a full-size paper dress. Many office employees still swear they need physical notes on their desk to stay up to date with their work. Of course, there are tons of paperless individuals who use apps for reminders, but technology isn't infallible. If your phone forgets to remind you that a proposal is due, the boss isn't going to fire it, he's going to fire you. So is paperless really possible? Well, yes and no. It all depends on the user's personality. Going green is an important aspect of modern life because it saves both money and the environment, but physical notes still have a big place in the modern age. However, many brands have come up with new ways to keep visible notes around. Desks like the 1938TG Xpressions Computer Workstation by Safco allow users to keep their notes by writing directly on the desk with a dry-erase pen. Inventions like these are excellent ways to cut down on paper without relying too much on technology!

Pets at Work

Pets at Work

There are those out there who swear their pets help them concentrate. At home, sure, but at work? Believe it or not, there are many businesses out there that allow employees to bring in their furry friends to for company. In fact, pets at work really isn't that new of a trend. In ancient days, humans and dogs hunted side by side, while cats kept the rats out of the house. We lived and worked beside each other for hundreds of years until the industrial revolution, so why the sudden change? The answer may seem obvious. Corporate life doesn't really leave much room for pets in the office since keeping a professional persona is important for any business. In public work environments, customer experience and co-workers with allergies take precedence over pets. However, many businesses are staying open to the desires of their employees, and quieter buddies like bowl fish for stylish office desks with modern design have made a great compromise.


Desk Exercise

And finally, we get to the newest, weirdest trend in our lineup. As you may be able to guess from the title, "deskercising" is a combination of the words "desk" and "exercising," and it is just what it sounds like. In the modern age, people everywhere have been searching for ways to balance physical health needs with the needs of the office. The most recent solution to this is exercising at work. Believe it or not, there are tons of ways to do it. The internet has seen an explosion of deskercising and office yoga classes online. Managers have even hired instructors to teach employees effective ways to work in stretches that won't take away from the workday. Companies have capitalized on the trend by producing chairs like the CHAKRA-GREEN Chakra Chair by Eurotech, which is excellent for yoga fans and anyone that wants a healthier work lifestyle. As strange as deskercising may be, it does provide a much needed chance to improve health and happiness in the workplace, and is likely a trend that's here to stay!

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