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Future of the Office

Future-proofing is a Lie and Here’s Why

Future-proofing is a hot topic in this industry right now, a very trendy and catchy byline. But is being "proofed" for the future really possible?

Man looking at laptop, looking confused and scratching his beard

If you are into design or have been looking at office trends, you probably have heard the buzzword “Future-proofing”. As it might be expected, the term refers to having your workplace “proofed” for whatever changes are coming in the future.

However, if this pandemic season has taught us anything, it has been that we need to expect the unexpected. Quite possibly anything can happen. Trying to proof your space for whatever unexpected thing that could happen can seem like an impossible task.

That’s because it is.

No one can predict the future. Instead of focusing on “future-proofing”, you should focus on “future-preparing” and using real data and trends to create a flexible and resilient space that can change to meet your anticipated needs.

When thinking about future-preparing your space, you need to think about several key things:
  1. Future trends vs trendiness
  2. Where you anticipate your needs changing
  3. Flexibility for reconfiguring

Future Trends vs Trendiness

When it comes to future trends versus trendiness, the key is to look at data. Locking yourself into current trendiness that might go out of style in the next few years can end up leaving you with an incredible office for a couple years, then a very outdated office for the next 5-8 years. Considering future trends is more about looking at how the office is changing. Anticipating where the office is going in the next 10 years can help you plan ahead as well as make your space inviting for the future generation of workers. Checking in with reputable sources such as Gensler Research Institute or JLL to get an idea of where the future of the workplace is trending.

Anticipating Changing Needs

It can be very rewarding to get the perfect office layout for where your company needs are now, but if you want your business to grow, you’ll need to keep in mind that your layout may need to change to better serve your companies growing needs. Where do you anticipate your company changing? What departments are going to be expanding, how do you anticipate the needs of current departments changing? Buying furniture with this in mind can ready you for those changes as they happen.

Flexibility for Reconfiguring

Flexibility in your furniture is key for meeting changing company needs. Getting furniture with the same kit of parts can make reconfiguring and purchasing new matching furniture much easier. Don’t buy furniture that is being discontinued either. You’ll regret that when you need an extra 4 desks for your expanding department. Buying furniture that has flexibility built in can be especially advantageous. Desks that are non-handed or are able to have 1 or 2 more configurations can help when you need to rearrange but you don’t need to purchase new furniture yet.

Serious about preparing your office for the future?

Download our free future-preparing checklist to make sure you’re thinking about all the ways you should prepare for the future.

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