What happens when you give your techies the freedom to build the perfect workspace?

No matter who your favorite character was, The Office (both UK and US versions, let’s not get into an argument here) became an iconic series because it played on one thing we all know to be true: offices are boring .

The tech industry tried to change that by bringing some ‘fun’ into the office. Their plan was to entice adults into the workplace with bright colors, slides, rock walls and a relaxed dress code, echoing the children’s jungle gym. They got rid of the 1990s cubicles and introduced open office plans, assuming that people from different teams would have each other’s shoulders to surely encourage collaboration, camaraderie and innovation.

The pandemic proved them wrong. After experiencing the comforts of working from home, many employees have had no inclination to return. Employers have either tried to get employees back to the office or have given in and made them stay home. Those choosing the latter have faced waves of workers submitting their notices in favor of employers offering flexible work options.

Is the office finally dead?

Why it’s impossible to design the perfect office

One of the biggest challenges offices face is that they are packed with people. People who all expect something different from their workplace.

While data security is a top priority for analysts on your team, it may be more important for the digital marketing team to broadcast the cool new innovations the team is dreaming up.

Likewise, it’s a well-known fact that some people need peace and quiet to do their best work, while others need people to get ideas out of. a recent research in Personalities in the Workplace by experts from the University of Arizona and California State found that extroverted workers are better focused and happier in open-plan offices. Meanwhile, those who score high on neuroticism struggle with open floor plans.

There is not only a difference in personality, but also in circumstances: a father of two young children may have different needs than his colleague who is a single dog.

Aside from these differences, new workplace and technology trends are constantly emerging and attitudes are changing. Mental health, diversity and inclusion, and data protection are just a few of the concerns of managers.

So can you really build a workplace flexible enough to work for everyone?

I visited Miele X‘s new home in Amsterdam’s modern new office building “The Valley” to find out.

Image of the Valley workspace in Amsterdam