Modernity is defined by the capacity to appreciate progress and scientific advancement. It’s a strategic blend of traditional sense with a forward gaze that spurred the rise of entire industries–and our idea of the workplace has changed along with it.

Here are four key ingredients for the modern workplace that have drastic implications for productivity and efficiency:

  1. Strategic Investments in Office Equipment

The modern notion of an investment in equipment is simple: spend on goods that you can trust won’t fail you. For years, this has meant turning directly to original manufacturers of brand name goods, absorbing the cost of new machinery for the sake of having new machinery.

But the rise of companies like JJ Bender has changed the game, adding used equipment to the set of goods you can trust. Firms now offer brand-name equipment at lower rates, with guaranteed eligibility for maintenance contracts with original manufacturers.

  1. Office Automation

The modern office features technological solutions to clerical problems of the past. Strides in information management have made jobs like schedule tracking quick and intuitive, cutting productivity losses due to human forgetfulness by a fair amount. Processes like marketing have also been automated, and if done properly allow businesses to reach a much broader customer base over a much longer period of time.

Productivity is at a peak thanks to our constantly developing technological landscape, and office spaces have learned to adapt quickly to seize the advantages they offer. A successful business embraces smart technology, connecting all elements of the workspace from the bulletin board to the office printer.

  1. Employee Happiness

Science has lent credence to an idea that many businesses have held from the very start: employee happiness leads to greater productivity. With this slice of conventional wisdom now rooted in fact, modern offices have begun to pay well-deserved attention to maintaining and improving employee morale.

Many offices boost their workforce’s spirits in little ways like recognizing the efforts of their employees and incorporating these gestures into their operational model. Offices that can afford it go as far as to include on-site gym facilities, karaoke rooms, and sleeping areas to keep employees from dreading their nine-to-five. Whatever the scale of the solution, modern offices have finally begun to professionalize happiness and humanize the work experience as a matter of workplace optimization.

  1. Near-Horizontal Corporate Structure

With workplace modernization comes the development of new strategies to optimize office culture. One radical but evidently effective way is by flattening the organizational structure of a business at the operational level. A horizontal structure allows employees to focus on collective output rather than individual performance, and encourages equal and positive treatment rather than hierarchy or resentment–a factor that Google itself claims to be the key to maximizing the gains of teamwork.

Of course, traditional rules for workplace management and oversight apply, as some level of accountability needs to be enforced among employees. The grand lesson of experiments in flattening organizational structures is simple rather than drastic: companies benefit most from employees who are encouraged to speak their minds, treat each other with respect, and value collective success over individual gains.

To close this article, it’s important to note that no two companies’ experiences with modernizing their workplaces are alike. The golden rule of prudence still applies, and companies are encouraged to be strategic in considering steps towards moving their business into the 21st Century.