We spend somewhere between 40 to 45 hours per week, on average, at our jobs. In other words, the work environment is the place where we spend most of our daytime. Spending more time there than we do in our own homes makes it a vital piece in our wellbeing, as it directly impacts not only our productivity, but our health, too. Employers and property owners are aware of this and as generations changed—which means different perceptions and different guiding principles in life—so did the work environments.
The modern workplace is unrecognizable from what it was a decade ago. These days office design trends are staff-centric and revolve around creating a friendly and cozy environment for workers and clients alike—keeping employees happy at work is a safe way to retain talent, while clients will wish to return to a place that not only serves their needs, but also makes them feel good while over there discussing business. If you’re looking for inspiration, these are the most popular office space design trends to follow over the next months and into next year.
1. Various layouts
The open-plan era is a thing of the past, and more importantly, one size does not fit all; variety is king. These days companies understand that employees prefer a combination between large open areas and dedicated workspaces and started to cater to their needs. Even smaller businesses found ways to add flexibility in their seating arrangement, creating quiet, distraction-free individual areas, private nooks, cafe-style high tables and comfy spots throughout the office.
The assigned seating strategy is still present, but activity-based workspaces is a trend that’s becoming ever more popular, offering employees the freedom and flexibility to choose between workspaces based on specific activities. These might include impromptu meeting areas, formal meeting spaces, project rooms, individual workspaces and break areas.
2. Smart technology
Breaking up the open-plan environments means that technology is also advancing, favoring these ‘digital nomads.’ This means that many offices are now opting for laptops instead of desktops and placing outlets around the office, but also wireless charging stations, data ports and smartboards. Even more so, artificial intelligence is finding its way into the workplace, and companies are investing in energy-efficient systems that take lighting to the next level—through an array of sensors, they detect when an employee has walked into a room and adjust the lights and temperature according to preinstalled settings.
Assistive technology is also more present in the modern office and range from color-coded keyboards and Braille displays to specialized screen reader software, assistive listening devices, speech recognition and sign language apps.
3. A non-office atmosphere
The rigidity of the classic work environment is, in some cases, demoralizing for employees, and that’s why the design industry has started experimenting with layouts that have very little in common with an actual office space. They’ve replaced the sterile lighting and boring uncomfortable couches with mood lighting and unique furniture, reminiscing more of living rooms and coffee shops than of actual work spaces. In addition, these spaces enable employees to adjust the temperature according to their needs, which makes them feel more in control and thus more relaxed.
4. Pairing the old with the new
Vanilla boxes, once the industry standard, are slowly being replaced with those that keep and show the guts of the original spaces, such as steel beams and brick structures. Pairing them with bold and modern elements, this strategy helps not only historical preservation, but also favors adaptive reuse. New buildings can also use this strategy, enhancing the beauty of a fresh space (while also preserving craftsmanship) by adding rough, old furniture pieces, as well as industrial-style brickwork and concrete flooring.
5. Focus on employee wellbeing
The workplace has shifted its traditional focus from functionality and maximising head-counts, and has become far more holistic. These days, it is no longer uncommon to work in an office that has its own yoga studio and meditation areas, massage rooms, game areas and rock climbing walls, espresso and cocktail bars and even spaces to play music, and all these elements can positively impact the overall workplace experience.
6. Textures and biophilic finishes
Following the rise of the minimalist office and neural or streamlined layouts, texture is the go-to method to introduce a more vibrant and playful atmosphere. Biophilic office design is increasing in popularity, and those not-long-ago open-plan environments are now divided through walls made of alternative and natural materials like bamboo and shrubbery, metal display cabinets and acoustic panels. This trend also aims to make the modern workplace more sustainable, and numerous companies nowadays strive to attract and retain talent and be more cost-effective through designing green office spaces.
Are you thinking of setting up your business in a convenient location in Manhattan, and are looking to lease space in a modern building offering state-of-the-art amenities? Then reach out to us and we will show you worthwhile space situated right in the heart of New York City. To learn about available office space, call Metro Manhattan Office Space at (212) 444-2241 or email us at [email protected]