As well as being a time for reflection, the beginning of January inspires us to look ahead and ponder what the next 12 months may have in store.
In the workplace, a number of office design trends that started to take shape in 2018 are predicted to gain serious traction this year, driven by companies’ ever changing demands and requirements. So, if you’re an agent or landlord, you might want to take note:
As StarTribune explains, most companies want their workspace to reflect their business – its values and ethos. A branded space doubles up as a marketing tool, helping a company to differentiate itself from competitors while at the same time, reinforcing its culture among employees.
The article shares two examples from the US. First are the offices of Sleep Number, which feature the company’s logo on walls and ceilings, together with Sleep Number settings on the tables. Field Nation, a company that matches IT contractors with businesses, has a network of orange piping in its offices that runs electricity to light fixtures – said to represent a ‘technological network.’
No reception desk
More and more companies are doing away with the traditional, front-desk receptionist. Instead, they are using technology to direct visitors, while creating more informal and inviting entry areas.
Betsy Vohs, founder and chief executive of US design firm Studio BV, said three quarters of her clients don’t need a receptionist to answer calls or greet visitors. “Having them at the front desk isn’t the best use of their time and energy.”
Flexible and collaborative working practices have fuelled the trend in adaptable workspaces, along with the need to maximise square footage of office spaces. Modern workspaces are now being designed to allow for rearrangements of furniture, but also fixtures such as walls and partitions.
In Atmosphere’s offices, walls are moved annually to reflect employees’ work preferences. After noticing staff weren’t utilising enclaves, for instance, management removed a few walls, creating more breathing room and larger meeting spaces.
Lack of audio privacy is one potential drawback of modern, open plan spaces. But companies are counteracting this by creating private call rooms within offices, and by using materials like acoustic foam, felt, drapery and carpet. Some businesses are going so far as to install white noise devices throughout the space.
Workplace wellness is big business these days, with more commercial architects starting to incorporate design standards which work on enhancing employee health and wellbeing. WELL certification is a relatively recent concept, exploring how office design can help people live better through enhancements in areas including air, water, light and fitness.
New year, new office? If you’re keen to ensure your commercial spaces build on these trends and answer to companies’ new office requirements, get in touch with the experts at Kerr today.