Three questions toÂ Michael O. SchmutzerÂ about flexible office design, new target groups and future trends of the working world. At ORGATEC, the founder and managing director of Design Offices presents his concept of precisely fitting temporary workspaces and is also the curator of the special show “The Smart Coworking Lobby”.Â Schmutzer answers
Mr Schmutzer, your company Design Offices provides temporary offices, meeting and event rooms in various German cities. Who rents your premises and why?
We have intensively analysed the question of what an optimal working environment needs today and have learned a lot from our customers. They increasingly ask for creative and inspiring rooms, which do not look like a classic office â€“ work environments where people feel comfortable and are able to develop ideas and new concepts. Here, the topic of co-working is the key issue. At an early stage we realised how perfectly the free choice of a workplace and the flexibility of usage correspond to peopleâ€™s needs. Accordingly, freelancers contact us just as much as established companies through to large corporations from all industries.
With the combination of powerful IT technology and high-quality interior design, your approach aims at the needs of the younger generation in particular. How important is design today for a temporary workplace?
Especially young people want a working environment, which perfectly adapts to their requirements. As I am able to work anywhere today, I do not just need a desk with a standard equipment in the office but a room where I feel at ease. Studies provide evidence that the right working environment considerably increases labour efficiency. Not only does this please the employer, it also has the result that people like to go to the office. And today, they primarily do that to meet other people and exchange their views. Design is a suitable means to create rooms, which meet very different demands on everyday work routines. Rooms for focussed work, collaboration, education, and socialising. Using the Design Offices method, we have created spatial solutions for all types of work.
What are the significant trends you see for the further development of the working world?
Owing to digitalisation we experience one of the greatest phases of upheaval in the working world in general. Currently, it is expected that within just a few years more than 40 percent of the workforce will no longer work as classic permanent employees. The great era of project workers and freelancers begins, where time and again new teams will form around tasks to be solved. We think that the need for flexible rooms will significantly increase. We rise to this challenge with great commitment and the constant extension of our location network.
Michael O. Schmutzer is founder and managing director of Design Offices GmbH. At the moment, his company provides offices and meeting rooms for temporary use at nine locations in Germany.