Nothing beats working in an environment where you feel open and relaxed! If your work space layout leaves a lot to be desired, it may be time to consider a renovation. Even though an expansion or a move can sometimes seem like the best solution, there are other great options to consider. Renovation is a great way to use the current space in a new and more functional way, adapted to the needs of the business and its workers.
Our experts compiled the biggest office design trends of 2020 to help inspire you. Who knows — maybe you’ll be able to convince your boss to renovate yours!
1- Hybrid Offices
Today, offices aren’t just about looking nice, but rather function as a reflection of company culture. With labour shortages in many sectors, more and more companies invest large amounts of money into making their workspace appealing to potential hires. Offices are transformed to help promote a sense of lifestyle, to reinforce culture and values. Workplaces with amenities such as gyms, fully-equipped kitchens and cafés are more and more common, with the goal of adding value to their company as an employer, and make themselves more competitive in the recruitment process. Some companies have even gone as far as add playrooms for employees’ children, or their four-legged friends!
2- Hot-Desking, Desk-Sharing and Clean Desk Policies
Over the next few years, many organisations will adopt a more “nomadic” office design, allowing for flexibility not only in the day to day flow of their workers, but also allow for easy adaptability of the space as the company grows and changes. With the rise of the millennial workforce, companies are adapting a more free and changeable way of designing their work space, to match the values of their employees.
Hot-desking consists of having unassigned work stations, allowing employees to choose their desk on a daily basis. With most companies providing laptop computers to their employees, it’s easy for them to move freely to whatever work station they would like.
Additionally, many companies invite partners and collaborators to come work in their offices, which help encourage clean desk policies. A clean desk policy typically consists of mandating employees to clean up their chosen workspace at the end of every workday, and placing their belongings in a designated area, like a locker or cubbyhole.
On the furniture side of things, work stations that are adaptable and movable are ideal. They allow the layout of the office to be easily changed to encourage productivity, or with the changing needs of various teams. This means light desks, even desks with wheels, that can be moved with ease, are preferred over larger desks made of heavy materials and fixed to the ground.
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3- Conscious Design and Participatory Planning
With environmental consciousness on the rise, companies are taking steps to be more eco-friendly, by taking on initiatives such as using recycled furniture, or furniture made from sustainable materials. In new spaces, employers are choosing to prioritize eco- and socially-conscious materials for the construction of their offices — this means they come from ethical and renewable sources, do not have negative impacts on health, have a small ecological footprint or are carbon-neutral, etc.
With people being more conscious about the dangers of pesticides and industrial farming than in the past, they are shifting towards more organic and healthy diets. In 2020, designers are integrating this trend into office design by including greenery such as potted vegetable plants, or even small greenhouses, so companies can harvest their own veggies. They can be found in the office spaces, or in designated areas like on rooftops, and are a great way to encourage healthy eating among employees, while being a great way to save money on food expenses.
Heads of companies are including more and more employees in the planning of new office designs. Who better to consult on the brainstorming ideas with the bosses, architects and designers than the people who spend all day using the space?
4- Colourful Bathrooms
Bathrooms are often an afterthought in office design. In 2020, marrying practicality, warmth and personality will be at the forefront of bathroom design. As they are spaces will little to no windows and are seldom used, using a more dynamic colour palette is the way to go! Use your imagination — colourful tile, patterned wallpaper, extravagant light fixtures, etc.
5- Dedicated Spaces
Open concept office spaces have brought with them their fair share of attention problems:
“It is now estimated that in the workspaces our concentration is interrupted every three minutes, and that we need about the same amount of time to get back into a task,” says Emma Vilarem, doctor of neuroscience and cofounder of the European festival of AI and emerging technology CogX. We can clearly see the need for spaces that preserve attention. It’s a difficult balance between the needs of individuals, groups and the company.” .
While the intention of open offices was to help decompartmentalize spaces and encourage a more collaborative work environment, they often have had the opposite effect. In fact, it’s common to see a large amount of employees in open offices with headphones on, writing on instant messenger systems to speak to one another, or even preferring to work remotely from home to be able to concentrate and be more productive.
To help counter this problem, designers must plan for silent or quiet zones in the office. Pods to this end are being seen more and more, to help limit visual and auditory distractions. Work rooms with glass walls are also a good option for group work, while still allowing the feel of an open space. Companies like Loop, Framery and Hush make soundproof cubicles for employees who need to make or receive a call. We all have that one colleague who speaks loudly on the phone, so we can all understand the practicality of such an installation.
The open office space is still a popular trend, but as mentioned, with designated areas to accommodate different working styles and needs. Remaining true to the hot-desking trend, these spaces are unassigned and can be used by everyone, allowing employees to adapt their surroundings to help in their productivity and concentration as they need.
Very large companies often have a corpoworking space where employees, partners, customers, young innovative companies can work. The concept is similar to coworking, but those working in this space are within the same industry, or have some other corporate link to the company itself. The offices are still separated from the primary work area, but are still connected to the company. For the employees, it allows to change up their routine and to create connections that they probably would not have had the opportunity to in their regular offices.
7- Ergonomic Furniture
Many studies show how difficult it is for the human body to be seated at a desk for 8 hours. After an hour, blood vessels lose 50% of their volume: the blood circulation is no longer facilitated, and the risk of thrombosis (arterial clot), for example, increases. And after 5 hours, your blood sugar goes up every minute because your body can not burn enough energy absorbed during breakfast.
How do we fix this problem? Choosing adjustable desks that allow employees to work sitting or standing up are a great solution. The company Herman Miller offers various models of smart adjustable desks: every employee has accept to a dashboard of their level of activity, sending them a notification when it’s time to change positions. Self-service standing desks are also a good option, allowing employees to change work stations throughout the day. Allocating a space to physical activity, and inviting instructors or trainers, is another great way to encourage employees to remain active before or after work, or during their lunch break.
8- Company Colours On Display
The time when installing a simple company logo behind the reception desk was sufficient brand representation is long gone! The current trend is to integrate the brand into the design as a whole — beyond the presence of the logo, the company colours are present in the office space. The goal is to have employees, clients and visitors feel a sense of uniformity and consistency in the company brand and culture throughout the entire space.
In 2020, this idea will be taken a step further, by using a more creative way of integrating company colours into the office, beyond the standard posters and paint colours. The work environment should foster concentration and not be a mess of garish corporate colors from one end of the office to the other. If a company’s colours are too bold or bright, a good option would be to choose more demure tones in the same family that still give a strong sense of uniform brand awareness.
9- Marriage Between Technology & Design
Technology is evolving at an impressive rate, and it’s important to utilize what we can and integrate it into a workplace, to help the productivity and well-being of employees. An office adapted to receive these new technologies will allow any organization to be well positioned for the future. Combining practical technology with beautiful design also helps add value to the work environment.
Do you often have to communicate with collaborators who live in another country? Consider installing separate areas for video conferences. Having dedicated spaces with the necessary equipment, like screens and speakerphones, allows for effective communication and streamlines teamwork.
If you’re looking for a simple way to add a touch of technology, installing wireless charging stations for cellphones are not only a practical touch employees will appreciate, it also helps promote a decluttered desk!
10- Relaxation Spaces Near Work Spaces
Happy and relaxed employees are productive employees! To reduce employee turnover, it’s important to keep them engaged, motivated, and active, by integrating outlets for their stress in their work space. Dedicating a space to rest helps build stronger bonds between employees. Taking a moment to relax in a calm environment can also help refocus creative energy.
With the popularity of regular yoga and meditation practices as means to help with concentration, many companies are creating spaces designated for it. Green spaces and even nap spaces are also a new trend — just more ways companies are integrating relaxation into the workplace!
What Does Your Office Look Like?
Is it time to adapt your work environment with the latest trends? If you would like to know more about the subject and know how to get up to 3 free quotes from 360° Verified Contractors, we invite you to visit our Office Space Design & Planning page or fill out our form — one of our Commercial Renovation Advisors will be happy to help!
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