Category: Office Design
The design of an office or workplace can have a significant impact on the performance of staff members and businesses as a whole, which is why it is important to keep up-to-date with modern design trends, pay attention to the latest research and make use of the right office equipment.
Indeed, a recent study carried out by Sapio Research found a strong correlation between working conditions and performance metrics like productivity and profitability, while 48 percent of employees stated their view that workplace design impacts upon their decision of whether or not to stay with their current employer.
With these findings in mind, in this blog post, we examine some of the most important office design, office space planning and office equipment trends that you should be aware of in the year ahead.
1. More Flexible Layouts
Open plan office designs have been the dominant trend for several decades now. In fact, it is currently believed that approximately 70 percent of office based employees work in an open plan environment. While this can help with collaboration, negative effects have been highlighted by recent research, such as distractions and a lack of privacy.
This, combined with the fact that there are now five generations in the workforce, has mean that flexible layouts are now more important, allowing staff to shift seamlessly between open plan spaces and private spaces, or between quiet spaces and collaborative spaces, based on their specific needs at the time and their own personal preferences.
2. Cement Office Features
One of the more surprising design trends that office refurbishment companies are turning to at present is the use of cement for interior design. Part of the reason for this trend is that the material is robust and versatile, allowing it to be used with various different styles to create trendy office features.
"Traditionally non-cement features such as floors, counter tops, plant containers, sinks, and shelving, are now being built and intricately designed using cement," says Zack Sterkenberg, writing for Ambius. "Its immense popularity stems from its simple, minimalist aesthetic, clean and smooth lines [and] its well-documented toughness."
3. Biophilic Design Elements
The emphasis on biophilic office design - the inclusion of natural elements - has been a growing trend over recent years. Yet, as an increasing number of studies support the fact that it can boost morale, increase productivity and reduce absenteeism, it will be requested more and more from office refurbishment companies this year.
In particular, office space planning should ensure that employees have access to natural light. Other elements that can help to contribute towards a more natural, biophilic design include the presence of plants - either real or artificial - and a ventilation system that allows fresh air to circulate around the building.
4. Unconventional Workspaces
Another trend we expect to see continue in 2018 is the implementation of unconventional workspaces. Essentially, this refers to spaces within the workplace, which have not traditionally been associated with work, but which have started to be used as workspaces in more recent times.
Perhaps the best example of this so far has been the Yodle, Inc. office in New York City, which utilises a wide stairway for the dual functions of linking two floors and also providing a space for employees to sit and collaborate. Other companies, meanwhile, have used the space underneath stairs to create an open space, or have turned a section of the kitchen or staff social room into a dedicated collaborative work environment.
5. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual and augmented reality have been two of the biggest technological breakthroughs of recent times, but adoption in the average workplace has been slow. However, in 2018, we are expecting to see VR, in particular, utilised much more, allowing salespeople to offer a 'test drive' of products, or hold face-to-face meetings from afar.
"Augmented reality and virtual reality are slowly making their way to the front of the line," says Jeff Pochepan, in an article written for Inc.com. "It is showing itself to be a great resource for employees that want to demonstrate models in product development, overhaul the boring pitch deck, and hold immersive meetings with stakeholders."
6. Environmental Friendliness
Finally, millennials, now the dominant generation in the workforce, want to work for businesses that share their values and environmental friendliness is an increasingly important consideration. Therefore, demonstrating green credentials through an office design can actually provide a competitive edge in terms of recruitment.
Examples of ways a design can be made more environmentally friendly include a reduction in the amount of plastic in the workplace, the use of natural or biodegradable materials, the installation of solar panels and the use of energy-efficient lighting. Of course, the last two points can also help employers to reduce their energy costs.
Posted 26th February, 2018< Back to articles