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Google redefines offices for the future: an innovative approach to how future work should be

How after-covid offices should be? Workplaces are definitely going to change, now more than ever, since an important part of the workforce works remotely. More outdoor areas, new hybrid conference rooms for remote and present workers, robots setting up spaces, adaptive furniture that can be easily set, moved or replaced in minutes; are some ideas that Google has developed.

“In 2018, Google’s real estate group began to consider what it could do differently. It turned to the company’s research and development team for “built environments.” It was an eclectic group of architects, industrial and interior designers, structural engineers, builders and tech specialists led by Michelle Kaufmann, who worked with the renowned architect Frank Gehry before joining Google a decade ago. Google focused on three trends: Work happens anywhere and not just in the office; what employees need from a workplace is changing constantly; and workplaces need to be more than desks, meeting rooms and amenities”.

In order to reach these results, Google conducted various studies and research with an important participation of sociologists that analize ‘Generation Z’ and the learning behaviour of junior high students. The biggest challenges to face are the de-densification of offices, the rotative usage of spaces, the elimination of common touching surfaces and the people’s need for flexibility and autonomy.

“Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet, said at a Reuters conference in December that the company was committed to making hybrid work possible, because there was an opportunity for “tremendous improvement” in productivity and the ability to pull in more people to the workforce”.

Hats off to Google and Michelle Kaufman for drilling down on the very things that might actually make #hybridworkplace formats work for employers AND employees. Too many folks throwing around the term 'hybrid' these days as a way to avoid making actual decisions about the future of work for their organizations. Now Google, let MKThink help you measure how it's actually working.

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