Because technology and innovation have made significant advancements in western society, this has a resulted in new ways of living and working. One place where significant growth and change has taken place is at the office. People no longer use typewriters and sit on uncomfortable wooden chairs. The modern office has now become a home away from home.
Important changes in the office have centered on appearance, technology advancements, innovative office furniture, appearance, and implementing eco-friendly policies.
Technology: Because of advancements in technology, office spaces have become much smaller and simpler. Equipment is much smaller, lighter, and requires less power. More information is stored on computers so there less paper is required. Phones and faxes are often used together in one area and photocopying machines are smaller. This means that less area is required to house office equipment. Advancements in technology have also resulted in a blending of work space and support space. There is more teamwork taking place so offices are now designed to make it easier for employees to communicate with each other. The size of private workspaces has been reduced. Office chairs are now more ergonomic in order to reduce aches such as back pain. With new cost saving and longer lasting light bulbs, lighting has become more energy efficient. As well, office machines are now being built to minimize health risks.
Office Furniture: Environmentally friendly furniture, or Green Furniture, is becoming a very popular choice. Many office supply companies are now selling desks, chairs, cabinets, and other furniture made from wood that comes from sustainable forests. Bamboo is popular because it grows quickly. This type of furniture is usually made without using chemicals. This includes the paint and varnish applied to the furniture. There are also a number of companies selling office furniture that is made from recycled materials. Another popular choice is refurbished furniture. Eco-friendly companies obtain old office furniture, repair and clean them, and then resell them. This reduces the amount of waste going into landfills.
Appearance: Modern offices are much more personal. They are designed and built for comfort, boost employee morale, and impress customers and clients. The modern office tends to have more windows and lighting. Office furniture is more modern and chic. There is no longer a sterile and bland appearance. Paint color schemes and carpet are usually chosen to match the office furniture. There is a trend for open spacing. The height of cubicle walls is being reduced.
A Green Office: many offices are now implementing policies that will help protect the environment. Some green measures include: setting up recycling bins, using energy efficient computers, installing water coolers with biodegradable cups instead of drinking bottled water, purchasing recycled paper, storing more content on computers instead of constantly printing documents, purchasing refillable ink jets, using eco friendly kitchen utensils and dishes, using non toxic and environmentally friendly cleaners, using energy efficient light bulbs, reusing boxes, and purchasing refurbished electronics and other equipment. Employers may also offer a subsidy on public transit or start a carpool.
Health and Well Being Programs: Many employers offer ways for their employees to get healthy. This can include providing special exercise and relaxation programs such as yoga, keeping a couple of bikes nearby in case an employee wants to go for a bike ride during lunch break, setting up a room with exercise equipment such as a treadmill, and starting a walking or running club.
The modern office is much different than the traditional office. There is a trend of designing offices to accommodate changing lifestyles and make the work environment more enjoyable and healthier.
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