Companies can't afford to leave their employees’ well-being and productivity to chance anymore. What does your workplace need to look like so that your organization can keep up? Office design trends have the ability to boost productivity and foster a culture of happiness
Such trends are inspired by the new world of work movement and are strongly backed up by scientific evidence.
Here are our personal favorite workplace design trends:
1. Company DNA inspired office design
The job of internal branding is far from done once a carpet and furniture has been chosen according to a company’s brand guidelines.
Many companies are going the extra mile to express their company’s unique DNA in their workspace design.
Red Bull Offices in Santa Monica include a skate ramp
This means that designers are being asked to reflect the personality of the company in the interior design, independently from what current material and design trends suggest.
For example, Facebook pays homage to its roots by using garage doors that open up onto massive courtyards containing arcades, restaurants, firepits and shops selling dessert.
Showing dedication to the purpose of the company, Airbnb conference rooms are designed after their favorite listings, right down to the shelf ornaments.
There are many ways to incorporate your corporate DNA, and we can look forward to many more creative and authentic workplace designs in the near future.
Moose Toys Offices in Cheltenham, Australia - Photo: Carl Martin / PTID
2. Collaboration and flexibility inspired office design
The need to collaborate effectively within teams and across departments inspires new forms of meeting spaces in offices.
The trend includes ‘hot desking’ which does away with the traditional personal working space, and instead makes employees choose where to sit every day on a first come first served basis.
This means employees are able to decide if they want to sit with fellow co-workers or prefer to work alone, depending on their current work requirements.
Hot desking disrupts old-fashioned office designs by including different co-working zones such as think spaces.
Brainstorming at LinkedIn Offices in New York - Photo: Eric Laignel
Think about meeting boxes, brainstorm islands, unconference rooms or communal tables, where groups of employees can get together and collaborate informally on projects, without having to book a meeting room.
We are sure more companies will see the benefits of providing flexible working spaces and implement them in their office design.
3. Evidence inspired office design
Scientific evidence will play a central role in the office design.
With the help of new data capture technology and environmental research advancements, companies will be now able to adjust their office design strategically to enhance the well-being and productivity of their employees.
Designers and workplace consultants will be expected to give their recommendations based on those learnings. Success or failure of those implementations can be then quickly determined as well.
At Proxyclick, we're living proof that "stand-up meetings" cut at least 34% of unproductive meeting time.
4. Technology inspired office design
Workplace design and technology go hand in hand.
Office design needs to accommodate company’s infrastructure, think of beacon technology, touch tables and wireless systems for presentations or video conferencing in shared work environments.
Power sockets and charging slots need to be easily accessible for a flexible usage from employees who frequently change the devices they use at their work station, while any wires need to be cleverly hidden away in the office furniture.
Integrated check-in kiosk at Sodexo's reception in Brussels, Belgium
The reception is also getting a rethink, and we are excited to see more and more companies incorporating technology into their reception area by adding smart visitor registration solutions that leave a positive impression on guests and employees alike.
Offices are going green, with workplace designers bringing the outdoors inside the office building.
Biophilic design aims for a visual connectivity between humans and nature. As employees spend most of their working time indoors, these connections are often lost.
Hortonworks Offices in Budapest - Photo: Bálint Jaksa Photography
Companies are becoming more aware of the positive effects of nature on their employees and actively seeking to incorporate natural materials such as wood and stone, and using shapes and colors find in nature to creatively open up spaces in the office.
Water fountains and indoor fireplaces add a wow-effect, while office plants such as Living Walls ensure good air quality and a healthier quality of life for employees.
The indoor gardens of Pasona Group in Tokyo goes even one step further by using farm space between office rooms to grow 200 different kind of fruits and vegetables. Which are then harvested and the produce served for lunch.
Pasona Group Offices in Tokyo grows food in vertical farm
Mother nature is finally moving into the modern workspace and enhances the productive well-being of their employees, which in turn brings benefits to the company.
Exciting years ahead
There are so many truly exciting workplace design developments in store.
Proxyclick Offices in Brussels, Belgium
We can expect more and more disruptive office design implementations that are strategically used to meet the requirements of employee’s productivity, collaboration and well-being.
A win-win situation for everyone involved!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.