enabling the design and construction team to create a more functional plan that can be priced more accurately and built more rapidly. This approach also ensures that the actual workspace will promote flexibility, employee collaboration, and worker satisfaction because the space’s adaptability can be illustrated on screen before it’s implemented or installed.
Other factors driving change
Beyond AI, other technologies are similarly changing workspace design. As mobility increases, apps are now available that allow a company’s employees to find and reserve workspaces within an office setting. Similarly, wellbeing in the workplace is being supported by apps that can sync height-adjustable desks and benches and remind workers to adjust from sitting to standing positions throughout the day. These apps also allow workers to track how often they shift postures or take screen breaks, enabling them to view their progress toward established wellness goals.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to have a major impact, and collaboration tools like touch-screens and integrated audio-video elements will have a strong presence. model of a product, but to try it out to determine how well it works and whether it will meet their specific needs. Just as AI allows behavior to be analyzed during conference calls, it will begin to be employed by HR directors to gain insights into employee behavior, ultimately impacting workplace design. Businesses already can merge data with employee calendars and emails to determine if existing office layouts are conducive to collaboration and whether they can be improved to make workers feel more supported, and thus more productive. Companies can also use AI to determine how quickly workers are completing certain tasks and whether the workplace can be upgraded to serve those workers more successfully, again leading to improved employee morale, increased effectiveness and optimized workspace assets. For their part, interior designers are using AI to help businesses visualize workspace designs before construction begins or furnishings bought. This allows changes to be incorporated into the virtual designs,
MIT’s Media Lab is even working on a technology that enables users to search the internet using only their brainwaves. Essentially, the brain combines the information it already has with information from Google, delivering it to be spoken as answers in seconds. Information is not just at a worker’s fingertips. It literally helps to augment the brain to go beyond its own capacity. Imagine what that kind of technology can do for the way we work. While some of these technologies may still be a few years away, the tools to rapidly integrate architectural solutions, furniture and technology are available today and can ready a workplace to be an agile, responsive environment well into the future. With some general awareness and knowledge of the changing needs of occupants and the nature and speed of change today, buildings and their builders are faced with a triple threat: An economic, social and environmental responsibility to simply build better. Your business may someday soon depend on it. CCR
Steven Lang is president and CEO at dancker (www.dancker.com), a leading interior solutions firm working with clients to create spaces that maximize the flow between people and ideas by providing seamless integration of architectural, furniture, technology and logistics solutions.
NOVEMBER : DECEMBER 2018 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION