This is a guest post by Reno – a Director of a leading exhibition company Enigma Visual Solutions, specializing in retail designs, interiors, graphic productions, signage systems, creative office branding, event branding, conference set design and much more. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends.
Office design trends are evolving all the time, especially as things like wireless technology allow businesses to move away from desktop PCs, land line telephones and assigned work stations. However, technology is not the only driver of change, as scientific research finds ways to improve productivity or reduce health issues.
During the next ten years, these factors are going to combine to create major changes in the average workplace, to the point where you may not even recognize your own office building.
Here, we take a look at some of the biggest office design trends you can expect to see over the course of the decade.
More Than a Workplace
One of the biggest ways in which offices are set to change is an increased focus on offering personal services, leisure activities and wellness options. As such, there will be a heightened awareness of the fact that the office needs to serve as more than just a place of work, given how much time employees spend in the building.
We are already seeing signs of this evolution, especially with some larger corporations.
Google’s California HQ has its own basketball court, allowing employees to unwind during their breaks. The National Sleep Foundation, meanwhile, found that nearly half of all employees suffer from a lack of sleep, hindering their productivity. Google responded by introducing sleep pods, where workers can go and have a power nap to recharge.
However, in the next ten years, these luxuries will no longer be reserved for the corporate elite. The Society for Human Resource Management says 11 percent of waste management companies already provide free food and drinks, while half of all WorkWell Partners’ clients cite Google as the inspiration for their office planning projects.
Customization Is Key
Office space planning has become more and more concerned with the idea of comfort in the workplace, as repeated studies have shown that discomfort can contribute towards a host of problems, including various health issues, increased levels of absence, reduced quality of work and lower overall productivity.
The offices we see in ten years time will fully embrace customization, with adjustable desks allowing staff to reposition all elements of their work station to match their body type and personal preferences. Staff are also likely to have the ability to switch seamlessly from sitting to standing and even to lying down.
“Moveable walls with sound-absorbing fabrics will allow workers to get the privacy they crave,” says Gwen Moran, co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Business Plans. This will also enable employees to form smaller collaborative hubs as and when they need them, without any of the downsides associated with open plan designs.
The End of Assigned Desks
As well as featuring customizable work stations, the offices of ten years time are likely to have turned their backs on the idea of permanently assigned desks entirely. Instead, they will operate a system whereby people are assigned to a particular space every day, or every few hours, depending on the nature of the work they need to get done.
The so-called ‘smart office’ concept has emerged as one of the biggest talking points among office designers and architects in recent times.
Phillip Ross, a workplace futurologist at Ungroup, has even developed a cloud-based system, which enables the building to assign different coloured ‘jelly beans’ to employees, depending on their needs and the needs of the company itself. Other companies are already excited by its potential.
“If you want to work in a green space and be quiet, then you might get a green jelly bean and that identifies where you will sit in the building,” explains David Rolls, Executive of Commercial Development at Mirvac. “Then what happens is that, automatically, the technology will link the green jelly beans together.”
So, how do you see your office in 10 years?
Featured image by Robbie Shade