Nine essential workplace design trends

Workplace design trends evolve, and continuously develop.

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1 Maturity

With startups launching at remarkable speed, everyone wanted to make their workplaces cool to attract younger talent. Beer taps and foosball tables weren’t out of place, and even established companies were influenced. As this workforce is maturing, the shift is now about company culture and brand representation.

2 Storage

Once purely functional, furniture is now a design feature in the office, adding character and style. Limited space and hot desking means lockers are more common, with storage being used to divide open areas of the workspace, and act as additional seating areas.

3 Virtual reality

Virtual reality is likely to become part of our workplace soon. It will allow employees to see how a finished project will look. Augmented reality, however, can show employees how a design will look in reality by laying the virtual object over the existing world using a camera.

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4 Data design

As wearable technology and big data have boomed, it’s now possible for businesses to understand how employees interact and work. For instance, employee movements, speech patterns and posture can now be analysed, allowing understanding of how the workspace is utilised.

5 Future-proof design

Changes in technology and working culture mean many businesses are thinking ahead and creating offices with in-built flexibility. It’s difficult to predict which staff will be needed in future, so it has become important to use adaptable furniture, where different technologies can be implemented easily.

6 Activity

Activity-based design considers both needs for privacy and promoting collaboration, and creates separate spaces dependent on different tasks. For instance, quiet zones can be created which allow employees to concentrate and avoid interruptions.

7 Well-being

Wellness programmes have existed in the workplace for some time, but integrating health and fitness facilities are more difficult to accommodate. For example, sit-stand desks and staircase design can encourage movement.

8 Biophilic design

Introducing potted plants and natural light is important when we spend so much of our lives inside. Living walls have become a popular way to introduce greenery.

9 Integrated technology

Furniture that allows efficient set-up and connectivity has become a priority. Consider bespoke commercial desks such as those found at http://simonkohnfurniture.co.uk/our-work/commercial/reception-areas-and-desks/.

Wireless charging has become popular, with solutions that offer connections to shared displays, such as shared tables with inbuilt displays.

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