It has been about a month since we ushered in 2016, and that means most folks have all tied up their 2015 loose ends (or recovered from the festive holiday party circuit!), and are geared and ready to see what interesting and noteworthy developments the new year has in store.
In that spirit, the Key Interiors team is pleased to share the 4 office design trends that we believe will shape and influence 2016, and beyond:
We expect that more businesses will embrace “collaborative spaces”, which are casual, yet functional environments that allow employees to informally connect and do everything from chat about the weather, to brainstorm a solution to a thorny client issue. Collaborative spaces are an ideal balance of structure and spontaneity, and promote efficiency, performance, quality of work, employee morale, and other essential bottom-line benefits.
We also predict that more businesses will create “breakout spaces”, which are designated workplace areas – often near an elevator, stairwell or lunch room – that allow employees to spontaneously connect, or sometimes, simply relax and recharge. In a sense, breakout spaces are similar to collaborative spaces in terms of purpose, but differ in that they’re usually smaller, there can be multiple versions throughout a workplace, and as mentioned they are also suitable for quiet individual reflection (or even the occasional nap!).
On a more general level, more businesses are wisely recognizing that it is everyone’s interest to make the workplace a more relaxed, more comfortable, and healthier place to be. For example, we expect even more businesses to redesign their office to:
- let in more natural light
- ensure that HVAC systems don’t freeze out employees in the winter and roast them in the summer
- encourage employees to get up and move around; indeed, as Forbes recently noted, “sitting is the new smoking”.
In an organizational design context, in recent years many businesses have moved towards more democratic work environments, where what matters more is “what you do” rather than “who you know” or “how long you’ve been there”. An extension of this more democratic approach is that office design is becoming flatter, in the sense that it’s not uncommon for executives to work alongside – and with essentially the same furniture – as all other team members. This is particularly noticeable in collaborative spaces and open office environments, where an intern has just as much of a chance to be assigned a “plum” workstation (e.g. near the beloved espresso machine) as the person who hired him or her – or maybe even the CEO.
To learn more about redesigning your space so that it supports your employees and enhances your bottom-line, contact the team at Key Interiors today. Your consultation with us is free.