Here, we highlight office design trends that are shaping workspaces and the key things to look out for as smart thinking redefining commercial offices.
Many companies are relooking at space in the office that may have not been previously considered as spaces suitable to work from; like corridors, nooks and crannies or underutilized meeting rooms. All of which can be transformed into breakout areas, communal domains, and quiet rooms. This gives companies the opportunity to be more creative with their space and give employees the freedom to innovate and try out new ideas. Features of a flexible space can include moving walls, foldable tables with wheels, and lightweight stackable chairs. Employers can use these innovative workspaces to reflect their vision and values, giving a sense of togetherness, encouraging productivity and overall happiness.
While open workspaces or zones aren’t a new office design trend, how they are constructed and located, and how they serve a dual purpose, providing staff with an alternative space to be creative and discuss ideas, makes the difference. Their open design encourages increased collaboration and making them visible and easy to use is key to their success.
Traditional meeting rooms have also been re-thought and now these ‘open meeting zones are becoming more popular and widespread – expect to see more of this in the future. Large private offices are being replaced by purposeful lounges, community tables, and think tanks preferred by millennials employees. These spaces promote ad hoc meetings and productive collaboration sessions.
‘Biophilia’ focuses on a human’s instinctive attraction to nature. It implies we all have a genetic connection to the natural world, and Biophilic design uses nature as an architectural framework to intertwine the patterns of nature into the workspace using natural lighting, textures, patterns, and live plants in such features as ‘living walls.’ Since workers spend so much time indoors, biophilic designed offices help employees achieve their desire to connect with nature and are even shown to increase productivity.
SMART WORKSPACE: The Future of Property
The idea of the smart office is to have everything technologically integrated, so employees can switch their working styles. They have plenty of freedom to choose what device to work from and connect easily so they can access what they need at a whim.
Co-working software is helping shared workspaces operate more efficiently. Visitor management systems, conference room management, door entry, billing, CRM and more allow lean staffs to focus on community building. Organisations can capture and analyse data about what happens within their building. If a coffee point or conference room are not being used, they can find another use that is more valuable.
Chatbots programs facilitate text conversations and are expected to save companies millions in salary expenditures. Nearly 20% of companies have already deployed chatbots in the workplace, with an anticipated 57% by 2021. Companies are using chatbots as personal assistants, for on-demand customer support, to mine data, streamline business processes, recover product information and to answer employee questions.