The years 2020-2022 saw a significant shift in the concept of what a standard office work space should be, which has driven many businesses to dramatically reconsider their office layout and design.
One factor that accelerated this was the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to diminished office-based work and the evolution of hybrid workforces.
The success and ever growing popularity of these work practices mean that, for now at least, they are here to stay, which has a huge impact on what we anticipate the future of workspace design to look like.
This, along with climate issues, advancements in technology and other factors are causing necessary adaptations to office designs.
In this article, we explore the 5 key factors and trends that are redefining office design in 2022, and how you can ensure your workspace is fit for purpose moving forward.
Despite workplace restrictions lifting in early 2021, it’s clear that hybrid workforces are here to stay.
Not only do employees favour the flexibility and quality of life remote working provides, but there are also benefits for business owners, such as being able to downsize office space.
As a substantial amount of work is now taking place remotely, the function of the office has had to change.
Many businesses have found that the main function of their office space is to accommodate collaborative efforts, such as projects and meetings.
This is a crucial factor for future office designs, as businesses now require completely different office layouts.
Instead of your traditional office layout, workspaces are adopting collaborative zones such as designated meeting spaces and communal areas that can accommodate an ever-fluctuating headcount. This might be in the form of benches and booth seating over individually appointed desks and cubicles; it all depends on your unique workforce and their specific requirements.
These spaces also need to be equipped to support both office and remote staff, featuring the technology and layout required to host virtual meetings with clients and employees.
The evolution of technology is accelerating at an astonishing pace, meaning that all office designs and refurbishments need to facilitate a changing technological landscape.
This is especially important for businesses with a hybrid workforce, where data and connectivity is essential for virtual collaborations and remote working. State of the art technology also enables seamless communication and data transfer, which is crucial to any business, regardless of where their workforce operate.
Hybrid workforces have also spurred the use of smart technology in office spaces.
With smart technology, businesses will be able to monitor factors such as air quality, natural light levels and space utilisation, helping to make data-driven decisions on how to best optimise the space and benefit workers.
Many employers are having to deal with the fact that employees are no longer happy commuting into work every day. Why would someone want to come into an unproductive office environment when they know that they can get their work done more efficiently at home?
It’s no wonder then, that commuting is one of the contributing factors that spurred on The Great Resignation. You need to ensure that:
Employees are no longer willing to endure time-consuming commutes into cities every day to get to the office. This has led to many businesses downsizing and moving out of the city in order to set up their operation in roomy out-of-town retail spaces.
Workers need intelligently designed areas that will benefit their well-being and promote productivity.
In short, office spaces need to be worth the journey. Fail to make it so, and people will either leave to find somewhere that is worth the journey, or will insist that they work from home.
In this day and age, it’s impossible for any business to not be cognizant of the environmental impact of their operations. There is a growing societal pressure for you to demonstrate how your company is taking proactive measures to improve its sustainability practices.
This strongly influences modern workspace design; attractive office aesthetics need to incorporate high efficiency systems that help to reduce a company’s carbon footprint.
Some designs that improve sustainability include:
When it comes to creating environmentally friendly space, it’s important to be proactive. Sustainability is a key factor in the consumer decision making process. People want to work with environmentally conscious businesses, it’s a superb PR and marketing opportunity for your organisation.
While neurodiversity certainly isn’t a trend, many businesses across the world are reconsidering how they can improve inclusivity in their practices.
This means that interior designers are considering inclusivity when creating office spaces, supporting talent with neurodiverse conditions such as ADHD, Autism, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia.
These changes don’t need to be major, and can include:
Where traditional office layouts may have once stifled employees with these conditions, thereby limiting their potential, workplace environments are now being created to suit their psychological needs.
Workspace design best practices are always changing; your workspace needs to be right for your people and your business. Get it right, and you’ll see significant boosts in productivity, a reduction in absenteeism and better retention rates.
In order to get this balance right, our team at Rhino work closely with our clients. Our partnership approach helps us to learn what makes your organisation tick, allowing us to create the perfect space for your employees to thrive.
Whether you’re moving workspaces or renovating your existing office or warehouse, trust our expertise to deliver the highest quality turnkey office design & build service, or bring your project to life with our fit out and refurbishment support.
No matter what stage you’re at, we’re here to help. Get in touch today for bespoke advice on how you can make the most out of your workspace.
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