Kids Design Offices of the Future15 Feb, 2021 Read Time: 10 Minutes
From a 6.30pm disco dance floor to an inside beach for breakout meetings, the children of Jellyfish parents reveal what they think offices will look like in years to come.
As many people around the world remain working at home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unsure if working life will ever return to normal. Whether it’s coffee machine chats or the buzz of a busy office, we sure have been reminiscing about office life pre-COVID.
It’s likely that offices in the future will look entirely different. Not just as technology progresses, but with the new regulations that COVID-19 requires. With this in mind, Jellyfish Training asked children of employees here at Jellyfish to put their imaginations to the test.
These children were tasked with creating their own visions for fun and futuristic places to work - which were then brought to life.
Here’s how children imagine offices in the future.
“The Outdoor/Indoor Office”
Libby, aged 8
Libby’s office has a 3D printer, a vitamin D lamp, hammocks so workers can sleep and cookers at desks so work can be completed at any time. The foldable office chairs also massage and these can be put away at 6.30pm when the disco dance floor comes on.
On the ceiling, there is a starry sky and throughout the room there are plants that make the office smell nice and grow fruit. Libby said that: “Everyday in the office the fruit on the trees changes - by magic!”.
Libby’s favourite part about her office is the 3D printer: “Because you can do anything - even print a violin!”.
Matilda, aged 5
Matilda’s office has a pretend beach where you can get an ice cream or smoothie and go to the grown-up playground for a meeting.
Matilda loved her future office: "It would be a nice place to work because it would be fun and I wish it could be real."
Matilda’s favourite part about her office is the ice cream machine: "It's very colourful and beautiful."
“The Slidey Office”
Sasha, aged 9
Sasha wanted to create a fun and exciting office which included a slide and climbing wall for the adults to play in their break. Starting at the top of the building, the slide is super fast and takes you straight to the tasty lunch area.
Sasha said: “My favourite part of my office is the slide, because it is swirly and colourful as well as fast. It takes you to your comfortable desk quickly.”
“The Never Bored-room”
Ted, aged 10
Ted decided he would design a futuristic boardroom where you will never be 'bored' again! It has floating shelves to easily access iBooks (books with digital paper instead of pages), as well as a floating hover table and hover chairs. The room also has friendly helper bots that will keep you company and keep the room clean and tidy.
Ted’s favourite part of the futuristic office is the Work-From-Home-Bot (WFHB):
“This bot is like the others but with one big difference, it is controlled by people who are working from home! The WFHB easily connects to computers, phones or tablets (even games consoles), so wherever staff are, they can just take control of a bot!”.
Mark Deeprose, VP Real Estate & Facilities at Jellyfish comments:
“Offices will need to offer far more than just a place to work, but a space where people can have fun, be creative and collaborate with their colleagues. We need staff to want to come to the office, so we have to offer something more exciting than just desks and meeting rooms.”
“I absolutely loved the kids' interpretation of what offices of the future could look like through their art and imagination, though I'm not convinced how much work would get done with all that distraction!”
Mark also provided Jellyfish Training with some actionable tips and insights.
He discusses how employees can improve their WFH setups and tips for how employers can adapt their office environments to aid the transition of returning to office life.
Advice for employees on how to improve their WFH setup
- Comfort should be your number one priority when working from home
Ensure you invest in a good chair. There are lots of cheap chairs out there, but you can't guarantee their comfort. Purchasing a proper branded office task chair will ensure you have a product designed specifically for long periods of use, unlike a dining room chair or stool. Also ensure you have everything at the correct height - simple modifications can make a big difference to your comfort and reduces the risk of back and neck strain. If you don't have the budget for expensive furniture, then there are lots of effective products out there which can help improve your existing furniture.
- Create a nice environment to work in
Try and position yourself near a natural light source or window, which will help provide a better outlook and a potential source of fresh air in the summer. If you don't have access to natural light, then make sure you have adequate light in the room. Try introducing daylight bulbs and additional lamps if the space is too dark. Keep well organised and make sure you have plenty of storage around you so you can keep your environment clutter-free. Also, introduce plants to your space as they will help improve air quality and look great. One thing people also forget is what others can see when on video calls. Make sure you keep the room tidy, especially the area that's in view on video calls. Even put some pictures up if you have blank walls.
- Ensure you have the best possible technical setup
Your internet connection is key to success as pretty much all business is now reliant on the internet, and done through a browser. If possible, try and make a hard wired ethernet connection from your PC/laptop to your Wifi router, instead of relying on a wireless connection, which could be shared by others. This will hopefully provide a more reliable connection, saving any embarrassment from poor connection on calls. Also, invest in some good quality bluetooth headphones with a microphone, so you can switch between calls, video conferencing and listening to music. Earbuds are great as they are more discrete, just don't forget to charge them!
Advice for employers on how to adapt the office environment
- Managing your space
As we move into a more hybrid way of working, with staff working more of their year from home, as well as the uncertainty of the pandemic, it's more important than ever to get control of your real estate. There are now 100's of tools on the market which enable businesses to manage and measure their space effectively, as well as enabling staff to book desks and meeting rooms - all through one platform. With these tools we can start to understand the behaviour of our staff, where they sit, with who, and how frequently, which will help inform our decisions around the space in the future. Accurate data is also critical in helping us know when to increase or decrease the amount of office space we need, especially when closely linked with a recruitment strategy.
- Adapting to a new way of working
The way our staff will use the office in the future is going to change, though we still need the data to back this theory up. Staff will be able to choose to work from home when they need to concentrate, but come to the office to see their colleagues, collaborate on projects, and have fun. Before lockdown, there was already a shift in office design and pushing for different ways of working, with a real emphasis on providing less open-plan desks and more quiet work areas and fun communal space. The data will now be a key decision-maker in the way we design space going forward as well as creating environments that will draw staff out of their homes.
- Retaining the culture
Company culture and the people in your business should never be underestimated, and is what makes a company unique. Video conferencing is a means to an end, and we've proved we can all work effectively from home, but isn't a substitute for a real face to face meeting. COVID has forced the hand of business owners, making them review their working from home policy, but it shouldn't mean we turn our back on the office, in fact, the office will now play a more important role than ever, giving staff a safe environment to go and collaborate with their colleagues and develop their working relationships - something that just cannot be replicated online.
About Jellyfish Training
Founded in 2014, Jellyfish Training offers over 120 digital classroom and online training courses ranging from digital marketing, SEO, social media and analytics to Cloud technology, cyber security and agile.
As a Google certified training provider, Jellyfish has helped over 50,000 people from global corporates to small businesses, as well as non-profits, charities and government organisations to upskill their workforces.