While the fundamental principles of office design remain stable year after year — such as the importance of proper space planning, using value engineering to reduce costs, balancing functionality with esthetics, and so on — there are always an emerging set of styles, preferences, approaches and ideas that shape the discussion, and set the tone. With this in mind, here are 4 key and influential office design trends for 2017:
Office Design Trends #1: An Increasing Focus on Collaborative Spaces
Collaboration has evolved from being a “nice-to-have” in the workplace, to a mission-critical strategic priority that drives revenues and profits. As such, in 2017 we expect to see a greater focus on collaborative and communal spaces in the workplace. These can take the form of open office environments, breakout spaces, or hybrid approaches (i.e. environments that blend an open and traditional approach, to balance collaboration and interaction, with privacy and “heads down” working).
Office Design Trends #2: Personalized Lighting
As noted by Entrepreneur.com, in 2017 we should expect to see more work environments embrace the idea of personalized lighting. As the term suggests, this enables individual employees to have some control over the lighting levels in their workspace (e.g. brighter, dimmer, softer, coolers, warmer, etc.).
Office Design Trends #3: Fewer Dedicated Office Desks
INC.com highlights an interesting trend that has been around for several years, but may be ready for a “breakout” into mainstream office design thinking: fewer dedicated office desks.
The idea is to give employees ample space to work, but without giving them specific assigned workstations or offices. It is conceptually similar to sophisticated business centers in hotels, where guests simply show up and start working. However, the workspace model also includes rooms and spaces for group meetings or discussions.
Office Design Trends #4: Traffic Flows are Part of the Plan
Much like cars on the road, people in a workspace need optimal lanes to get from point A to point B. Otherwise, the journey becomes something of a chaotic free-for-all.
As such, in the year ahead we expect to see even more office designs include traffic flows as part of the plan. That is, rather than just defining and optimizing functional spaces (e.g. reception areas, work areas, shipping areas, etc.), the design itself will support efficient human traffic mobility. While this broader approach to office design will have a positive impact in any application, it will be particularly notable in spaces like medical and dental offices, where there is a steady stream of both staff and patient traffic — and usually more than a few traffic jams each day.
To learn more about these office design trends and discover if any or all of them should be part of your office refresh, renovation or re-invention plan, contact the Key Interiors team today. Your consultation is free.
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