You are currently viewing Here’s the Real Reason Why Offices Are Becoming More Casual

Here’s the Real Reason Why Offices Are Becoming More Casual

“By almost every measure, America’s workplaces are becoming more informal.”

(Blake Zalcberg, President of OFM, Dwell)

And this is something that seems to be spreading within the UK, not only within the increasing number of co-working spaces, but also in the more traditional office environment within companies. Obviously there are still exceptions to this, however more and more traditional businesses are becoming more informal.

(Image property of Dwell)

OFM’s wired Morph Series Sofa and Hex Series Stools and Table (in front), and Glass Conference Table and Smart Series Stack Chair  (in back).

“Office dress codes are falling out of fashion as every day becomes casual Friday. Management is becoming flatter, with fewer levels of hierarchy and more openness between junior staffers and the top bosses. Formal business communication, once crafted and formatted to meticulous standards, have been replaced by emails or even text messages, which cut straight to the point.”

(Blake Zalcberg, President of OFM, Dwell)

Even office furniture has become more casual and more relaxed, with managers eschewing fancy corner offices to join with the rest of the company in an more open-office collaborative environment. Companies are creating more informal communal spaces that allow employees to perform their job duties in a more collaborative environment. However, as we move into an even more relaxed informal workplace environment, it is worth pausing for a moment and trying to understand what exactly is driving these changes.

One of the biggest factors centres around technology. When bosses originally relied on secretarial pools to type up letters that needed to be sent across town by a bicycle messenger, it was only natural that they would be writing in more formal language. But as managers started getting their own personal desktop computers during the 1980’s, then their own personal email accounts in the 1990’s, business communication started to become more direct and less formal.

Today, as we all quickly type out messages on smartphones waiting in line at Starbucks, the mere idea of writing “to whom it may concern” or “with warmest regards” seems trite. Employees now use direct messages and large group chats to get work done efficiently and effectively, sharing ideas quickly, easily and transparently. New workplace tools and technology are effectively erasing the line between idle chatter and serious business dialect, a trend which will only accelerate as more of these tools find mainstream use within the office.

“The physical layout of the office itself has also been affected by this technology. Laptops, tablets and smartphones have made it easier for people to work away from their desks, leading to more casual collaboration in conference rooms, at cafeteria tables, or in common areas outfitted with comfy sofas and overstuffed chairs. These everyday pieces of furniture are now being designed with built-in electrical panels featuring USB ports and AC outlets for plugging in and working wherever you choose.”

(Blake Zalcberg, President of OFM, Dwell)

“Another factor is changes to the American economy. The more formal workplaces of the past were driven by traditional jobs like manufacturing. With more workers in today’s businesses doing creative jobs, such as designing software, it’s natural that their office environments would be more casual and even fun to help spark creativity. It’s no coincidence that more traditional workplaces, such as banks, are still among the most formal office designs around. The trend is clear, too. Whether they’re based in Silicon Valley– or North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park – these new creative-class businesses are shaping tomorrow’s economy. Even companies not focused on this kind of work are taking notice and evolving their work spaces in hopes of attracting the brightest applicants.”

(Blake Zalcberg, President of OFM, Dwell)

This is noticeable within the UK also, the economy has and is changing, the UK has been going away from traditional manufacturing jobs in recent years and there are a lot more creative businesses advertising creative jobs such as web design agencies and creative advertising design agencies.

“The final major factor is demographics. Millennials are the most racially diverse generation in American history, with higher levels of scepticism toward traditional hierarchies and institutions than the generations before them. With millennials becoming the largest share of the workforce, these trends will only accelerate, as this new generation has little patience for unnecessary formality. They have grown up using social media, smart phones, email and chat programs which encourage the informality already taking root in workplaces globally. Their numbers in the job market will continue to increase, further affecting evolutionary changes within our business environments.”

(Blake Zalcberg, President of OFM, Dwell)

More Information…

For a closer look at this article, please visit the Dwell website at the link provided below:

Leave a Reply