The Big Shift

They can be endless wells of inspiration for sitcoms, sites of secret, deep-seated resentment of the human condition, and everything in between. It’s no wonder that the traditional office is disappearing under our feet as culture finally begins to grapple with the meaning of shared working environments in the twenty-first century. As with schools, hospitals and other built infrastructure, offices have undergone huge changes over the years, and it’s not about to stop. If anything, the changes are only just getting started.

When it comes to things like this, I like to remember that nothing has a final form. That’s my hot take, anyway. As soon as something becomes static, it’s lost its connection to life, which is fundamentally unable to stay still. Movement is the essence of vitality, and this applies as much to social structures, systems and spaces as it does to biological organisms.

The point I want to make is just that we might finally start to see the perspective of the average worker reflected in progressive, solutions-oriented commercial office design. Sydney is having a moment of opportunity here, which could provide untold benefits individuals at all levels of a corporate structure, and in effect support the effectiveness of the structure itself.

What am I talking about, exactly? Well, I don’t know the specifics. The point is that these haven’t yet been nailed down – we really don’t know what the offices of the future will look like. Presumably, that will depend on what pops out of the technology vortex and the choices we collectively make about how we’re going to use it.

One thing’s for sure – we’re going to see global innovations in office interior fitouts, Sydney being no exception. In my view, it’s important for people who work in offices to be aware of this, even if they think they have no power over (or interest in) these developments. They will affect everyone, so it can’t hurt to be on the pulse of what decisions are being made by designers and how they’re being applied in commercial spaces.