2016’s Cool Office Wish List

Category: Office Design

Despite the various breakthroughs in office design research over the last few years, most offices still have fairly similar layouts and features. However, some of the richest companies in the world are breaking the mould, turning to cutting edge technology, and ultimately helping to re-define what the workplace should look like in 2016.

So, if money was no object, which upgrades would you look to install in your office space? Here, we provide the definitive cool office wish list for the coming year.

1. Indoor Grass Areas

Casual seating areas have become a popular office feature in recent times, while the 2014 Human Spaces report suggested that nature-starved office buildings are hindering productivity and preventing staff happiness. PTT Exploration and Production have combined both of these ideas in their office building in Bangkok, Thailand, by including a casual seating area which uses realistic artificial grass to help bring the natural world indoors.

2. Elliptical Machine Desks

Multiple studies, including those published by Active Working, have highlighted the long-term consequences of sedentary behaviour, which is exacerbated by the office environment. However, while many companies have turned to adjustable desks, one of the more trendy solutions comes in the form of the elliptical machine work station. Designed to allow occasional slow pedalling under the desk, the work station keeps employees active and can help them burn up to 4,000 calories per week! Workers can also track their progress through Bluetooth technology.

3. Multifunctional Staircases

When it comes to office space planning, staircases have traditionally been seen as an obstacle, but designers are finding new ways to make stairs multifunctional. In the USA, for instance, Yodle's office features wide stairways, which have a secondary function as a collaboration area. Meanwhile, the Romanian company B.sorted have steps that double as book shelves, proving that staircases no longer need to be seen as unusable space by designers.

4. A Giant Slide

Of course, in terms of getting from one floor to another, you don't need to rely on stairs at all. As more businesses try to promote fun in the workplace, giant slides have found their way into multiple offices around the world. Google's headquarters in San Francisco features a silver spiral slide, while YouTube's HQ in San Bruno, California took the idea to the next level by installing a giant red slide, which can be used by multiple people simultaneously.

5. Multimedia Pods

Multimedia pods

Open plan offices can make privacy hard to come by and even where privacy can be found, you might not find plug sockets to get on with your work. Multimedia pods, such as those produced by McCormack Design, offer a way around this. Fully customisable and extremely comfortable, the pods can serve as a great place to escape noise for a few minutes, but also allow integration with various devices. The possibilities are endless, but include enabling employees to take conference calls in a private, or simply charge their phone while on their break.

6. Places to Get Some Sleep

Finally, many offices are becoming more tolerant to the idea of sleeping on the job - literally. From Nike and the Huffington Post to Google and Procter & Gamble, numerous extremely successful companies are offering facilities for staff members to take short power naps during the working day. Nike's facilities come in the form of quiet rooms, while Google have opted for more stylish sleeping pods, but the results are the same: increased productivity.

Posted 21st January, 2016

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