What If Offices Move Outside?

The quest for green-friendly offices could lead businesses to some interesting places in the future. While the open office has been in use for some time, businesses may be ready for a different vision to plan their workspaces around. A Washington Post article recently looked at the promise of bringing the entire workplace outside, something which could add a sense of flexibility for companies that need it.

The Post spoke to Dan Figueroa from development firm The Peterson Cos. This company has developed outdoor workspaces to help employees get away from the sense of being trapped at their desk. Figueroa said that this sort of area could appeal to a wide range of different users.

"We see it as a place where collaboration and creativity can foster in an enclosed, yet outdoor environment," he said. "We anticipate all types of individuals using the space, including techies, telecommuters, executives, entrepreneurs and artists." Although the article didn't explore this, the outdoor office may also help employees see more of the outside world.

While the article addresses some of the possible issues with this model, it also pointed out that other initiatives have tried to approach similar ideas. What's more important is what this might say about other office trends.

Fortune questioned the future of the traditional open office, predicting that the more beneficial layout will combine the openness of many startup offices with specified spaces for private conversations and solitude.

Meshing different elements that have worked in other offices could create a unique hybrid that works for each specific business. That way, the focus could be less about how "open" or "closed" an office is and more about how efficient it is instead.

Another way to renovate the workspace could be customizing used office workstations to get the work experience employers want, and employees prefer.