Today the modern workplace is constantly evolving and not just on providing the right tools and technology but has become more employee-centric. Workplaces that are more focused on the needs of the employee have proven themselves to be more productive and cost-effective due to the decrease in absenteeism.
The most important thing about any workplace is office space. Nowadays, you can choose between having a private or a shared office; either way, the main thing is to feel comfortable and satisfied with the space you have. If you feel like the second option is the best for you, there are plenty of shared and dedicated desks in San Francisco’s cowork hubs that offer a great environment at a reasonable cost.
The days of lifeless formal offices with cubicles and strict dress codes are behind us, and a typical modern workplace is designed with open floor layouts and has a casual dress code. However, designing these modern workplaces isn’t an easy task. Business owners are constantly trying to adapt to the demands of the modern worker in order to create an environment that cherishes innovation which will have a good impact on the company’s corporate culture and vision. These innovations are a key focus for many companies. With the fast development of technology and a need for wellness-based design, businesses are aware of how important is investing in the properties of employees. These properties are both flexible and progressive and are designed to improve worker’s performance while upgrading their well-being and overall sense of happiness.
Companies are designing dynamic spaces that are human-centric and also make a sense of feeling that is authentic to the brand which also has space for growth and new technologies as they arrive.
1. Natural light
As a species, we are attracted to nature and natural light. Although natural light implementation in a workplace isn’t necessary or new office trend, it’s importance has certainly grown and basically has become almost obligatory. Effective daylight strategies are the number one thing workers want in their workplace. This is because natural light is crucial for our wellbeing and can make us feel happier and blissful. It is also important to know that that wellbeing is not all about just feeling good and that it is also about functioning well.
Evidence has shown that happier are more energetic, better problem solvers and have a tendency to interact better with other co-workers. So, because people are basically both a company’s greatest asset and biggest expense it is crucial that companies implement this natural resource in order to maintain optimum productivity, efficiency, and sustainability. Exposure to natural light can also improve short term memory and concentration which is obviously crucial in worker’s performance. Natural light is one of the key elements in having happier and better-rested workers which will, in the end, boost productivity and overall create a healthy environment.
2. Dynamic flexibility
In the past few years, a new workplace trend started to emerge among companies. This trend introduced workers to the idea of multi-functional workspaces and they are called dynamic spaces. These workspaces included indoor-outdoor access through garage doors, movable green dividers, television, and step- style seating. Essentially, these spaces were designed to meet the requirements of our multidisciplinary business world. These multi-purpose spaces, today have become a normal thing but also nothing like its new phase which is called Dynamic Flexibility. This trend’s new phase incorporates a new generation of multi-functional, lightweight and moveable elements that are designed to fit any space and purpose.
The days of heavy and bulky furniture that dictated what can and can’t be achieved in space are long gone. Dynamic flexibility allows the complete transformation of environments from a meeting room to a podcast studio and from the production area to a quiet private space. Employees can transform their workspace in the blink of an eye using removable walls and lightweight furniture and adjustable lighting and technology. This new trend is on its way of becoming the new default in business workspace because it is more important than ever to have an integrated workspace that can easily adjust itself to your realtime business needs.
3. Hospitality settings
Today we live in a world in which the digital aspect of our work is constantly increasing. Because of this many people work at least one day per week remotely and some even work half the week this way. Because of this companies are constantly redesigning their workspaces in order to satisfy their employees ’ changing needs and expectations. Companies are working with designers to create more inviting and comforting spaces in order to create a sense of community in a remote world. One of the main aspects of achieving this kind of environment is by creating hospitality settings that are usually found in restaurants, bars, and cafes.
Apart from having beer fridges, game rooms and comfortable furniture there is one thing that is always necessary for productivity. Yes, that’s right, good coffee. Consuming coffee generally makes people more sociable and also improves alertness which makes workers awake and more productive. So if you want your company to have a coffee machine with high-quality Italian coffee, companies like Bluepod are always there to provide these services. With one press at the button, your employees will have a feeling like they are on holiday in Italy while having their coffee break.
4. Wood is back
Believe it or not, wood is coming back in the design of the workplace environment. Traditionally, offices are designed using whiteboard drywall construction that is filled with metal cubicles. Companies today are more focused on sustainability and are always trying to attract top talent.
That’s why facilities have embraced a more environmentally conscious approach to attract new talent and satisfy employee expectations. Today Millenials are the largest working force and it’s common that they need assurance that the company they are working for is in order with their pro-environment and sustainability ideologies. Designers today are going for a more organic and authentic look and are avoiding former rustic looks. Wood is used for walls, floors, countertops, and accents which give the space character while adding warmth and biophilic texture. Prefabricated wood, glass offices, moss walls, and coffee tables constructed from preserved tree stumps are also a popular demand in the modern workspace design.
5. Redesigning the boardroom
Over the years the traditional boardroom hasn’t really evolved and some companies think it is time to change. Today, new ways of collaborating are started to be embraced by companies so the space required for traditional boardrooms is put to question. Due to the IT and creative sector, informal standup meetings are becoming more and more popular which in the end has diminished the importance of the classical boardroom. Although the boardroom’s role has decreased it still plays an important role to play. They are becoming more flexible and are designed to be multifunctional spaces. This means that the space used for a board can be split into multiple smaller spaces which can be used for other group activities.
Sustainable design is a new trend on which almost everyone agrees is a good thing. It’s an integration of recycled, sustainably sourced, and green building material into a workplace.
The main goal of this trend is to establish a harmony between nature and buildings while putting an accent on technology-driven efficiency and environmental conservation. This design isn’t that new but nevertheless, it continues to grow and varies in new and exciting ways. Because this biophilic design is inspired by the natural world it can help strengthen the human-nature connection. Materials like stone, wood and live plants are used, as well as vertical gardens and innovations such as biodynamic lightning.
7. Monochromatic expression
The term ‘’ monochromatic’’ is often used for using one color. However, when used in terms of design then it’s a whole different story. Monochromatic color schemes are the latest trend in color usage in commercial environments over the past several years. Although one color is used, designers use a whole spectrum of shades, tones, and hints of the color that is being used which makes a unique and recognizable theme. This design is known for its soft hues, bold and dramatic shades, stone pallets and matte finishes with green plants or moss accents.
8. Hanging Horticulture
Plants are becoming more popular in offices than ever before. Today, living green walls and moss walls have become a principle of wellbeing and branding. Plants in offices have become almost obligatory today because they create a sustainable and wellness-forward image of the company. As said before, plants are here to stay in the world of contemporary office design but this is not the end. Designers today are using ceilings to incorporate hanging plants in workplaces. The ceiling is the frontier in maximizing space, efficiency and adding nature patterns in a contemporary office. Hanging horticulture creates a feeling of the home-styled environment which blurs the line between business and leisure. Various plants are used such as Ivy, moss balls with birds’ nests, air plants, and Pathos plants.
9. Modern modular
Open office space will always be a part of every company and is here to stay. Nevertheless, businesses are always trying to find ways on how to create personal and private spaces for employees where they can focus on important projects. Another key element in achieving creativity and maximum productivity amongst workers is functional furniture. This means companies are providing tables, standing desks, benching workstations, and isolated phone booths are being installed in order to maximize the time in the office.
Modern modular design is basically an extension of the Dynamic Spaces trend and it is focused on innovations that are constantly being developed and are emerging in workspaces. These innovations allow businesses to work smarter with more efficiency while creating an environmentally conscious workspace for their workers.
10. Domesticated workspaces
Some companies are making an effort with designers to create a comfortable and more home-style environment for their employees. This is done by implementing furnished kitchens, flowerpots, woven baskets and basically anything that will make employees feel like they are working from home. This creates a welcoming and relaxing feeling for workers who frequent the office and this kind of space is more satisfying and conducive for working later than those without household items. This home-style design attracts workers back into the office because it creates a space with which workers engage and are excited about, which will, in the end, boost team dynamics and strengthen morale.
As we can see, workplace design is constantly developing because companies are aware that their employee’s happiness and wellbeing are crucial for their creativity and maximum productivity. The days of cold and lifeless cubicles are behind us and let’s hope it stays that way.