Blog - Lifestyle

10 April 2018


Contrary to the office of ten years ago, the modern office bases itself on how employees experience and interact with a space. The mission? To provide an environment that fosters productivity, collaboration, innovation and well-being.

Office design has also become a crucial tool to attract and retain the best talent and to create an environment that comfortably houses today’s multi-generational workforce.

So what can we expect this year?

1) Flexible layouts

A modular office, one of the many current design trends

More and more businesses will endeavour to keep their workspaces dynamic by incorporating modular designs and purchasing moveable, light-weight furniture.

This is a great way to give employees the option to customise their space according to how they like to work (perfect for today’s multigenerational workforce).

It’s also ideal for companies that may experience rapid phases of growth or decline, or for businesses that want to mix up the monotony by creating a setting that is always fresh.

2) Unconventional workspaces

An unconventional workspace, a corridor space that people can work in

Advances in technology mean that employees can work from anywhere in the office. And this has triggered the rise of unconventional workspaces such as work pods in corridors, office nooks under the stairs, or collaboration areas in open spaces equipped with beanbags or living room furniture.

Favoured by millennials who desire flexible and out-of-the-box work setups, we expect unconventional workplaces to gain popularity in 2018 and beyond.

3) Break out spaces

Break out area with lounges and table tennis

A break-out area is a space where employees can step away from their work for a moment and reboot.

Until recently, they’ve have been considered by many as an unnecessary luxury. However, as more and more research links these areas to enhanced creativity, innovation and productivity, it appears that breakout spots are no longer an option.

This year, more companies will allow for dedicated recharge spaces so their staff can relax and recuperate, and to stem the flow of new ideas. Far from your typical break out room, these new areas may include anything from relaxation and nap pods to meditation rooms and saunas!

4) Technology

New technology, an apple watch, remote and iphone

Technology is changing the way we work and how we design our offices.

In 2018, more and more businesses are expected to embrace technologically enabled workplaces – designed with collaboration, flexibility and communication in mind. (Think plug and play spaces, wireless charging ports, presentation screens, video conferencing and smartboards.)

We also forecast a rise in the use of smartphones, wearables (like Apple Watches) virtual assistants (like Alexa), the internet of things (IoT) and big data to:

  • Keep track of where we are
  • Monitor the way we interact with our workplace
  • Answer our questions
  • Schedule our meetings
  • Order our coffee
  • Anticipate our needs at any time of the day
  • Control office equipment, lights and temperature

… and the list goes on!

Even furniture manufacturers are incorporating technology – such as wireless charging – into their office products to keep up with the trend!

5) Biophilic office design

Biophilic office design

The term ‘biophilic’ refers to the intrinsic need for humans to associate with nature. Biophilic office design takes this inherent bond and applies it to the workplace to foster a healthier and happier workplace and to add interest and depth to a space.

While 2017 was certainly the year of biophilic office design, the trend is set to continue in 2018.

We expect to see more natural finishes, colours and textures that bring in elements of the outdoors, such as natural wood, stone, cement, metals, natural colours and shapes, large windows and skylights, and lush greenery.

6) Walls will come down

Walls down in an open plan office

This year, traditional partitions will be torn down in favour of open spaces that encourage collaboration and learning and promote a culture of openness and transparency. Alternative dividers such as see-through or adjustable partitions, acoustic panelling and moveable plants will also continue to gain popularity.

You may even find that some traditional meeting spaces will no longer be enclosed. Instead, they will remain open, equipped with soft furnishings and surfaces to ensure that noise doesn’t travel.

7) Greening processes

Solar panels on building, greening an office

We’ve already touched on biophilic office design, but forward-thinking employers are set to take this idea one step further in 2018 by ‘greening’ everything they do.

Anticipate a spike in renewable energy sources, water recycling systems, air purification, end-of-trip facilities, locally sourced, sustainable or organic foods and beverages, electric car pods, company-funded rideshare vehicles and more!

Read our 20 ways to make your office more environmentally friendly.

Date: 10 April 2018 Author: Jenna Kazokas

About the author:

Jenna Kazokas

With a proven track record in graphic design, brand management, copywriting, and email marketing, Jenna brings a passion and enthusiasm for all aspects of the marketing landscape, particularly in the digital space.

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