Office Design Trends
The workspace has transformed multiple times in the last 3 years. Since 2020, companies and staff have gradually been spending more and more time in the office. There has been so much change and upheaval that many companies are struggling to create a long-term workspace strategy. It can be difficult to know which hot topics are fads, and which are the key trends that will shape office design in the years to come.
At Zentura, we’ve been designing & building offices for companies across the UK since 2008. There has been a lot of change in that time, both in terms of the role and the aesthetics of the office. To help you understand the factors that will impact your office design in 2023, We’ve looked at our recent and current designs, as well as trends across the marketplace.
In 2023 and beyond, office technology is about more than cloud-based systems. Unfortunately, AI won’t have a significant impact on office design for several years yet. Currently, technology's main role is facilitating communication.
If making remote meetings engaging was hard enough, making hybrid meetings engaging is even harder. The main risk is that virtual participants get excluded from the conversation. To avoid this, designing specific suites that make sure remote workers are seen and heard is essential.
Some companies have been taking hybrid communication even further with extended-reality presentation suites. At MI-GSO | PCUBED, we installed the first office-based extended reality suite. The XR lab delivers seamless in-person and remote audience experiences. All remote participants become visible onstage alongside the host and content, and the package is user intuitive.
Smart building technology will also transform our relationship with the office. Resources booking software will enable staff to book desks, meeting rooms, or any other resources they need. Smart access control systems will enable staff to access the areas they need, controlled by their smartphone. Not only do your staff have a better workplace experience, but you can also gain a better understanding of how your people work. This enables you to further improve your office.
More than a trend, sustainability is now a core component of every office design, and will only continue to grow in importance. There is far more to sustainable office design than using environmentally friendly materials. There are 3 key areas to reduce the environmental impact of your office fit out: design, construction, and operation.
Maximising the sustainability of your office project starts with the concept design. the first thing is to assess whether you need to refurbish or relocate your office. Using a framework such as the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) you can reduce the carbon footprint of your project.
Using low-carbon materials in your design is an essential component of sustainable office design. A good start is to ensure all possible materials are sustainable. Using FSC-certified wood and non-plastic flooring are two simple options. By eliminating materials like plasterboard, you can further reduce the carbon footprint of your office.
The ongoing environmental impact of your office is also an important consideration. For example, air conditioning often accounts for around 40% of a company’s total energy usage. Modern HVAC systems are up to 50% more efficient than systems from 10 or more years ago. Installing up-to-date utilities is a worthy investment, both environmentally and financially.
Hybrid working will continue to be a huge topic in 2023. The key change is the switch in focus from workstations to collaboration zones. When staff spent all their time in the office, much of it was spent working alone at a desk. Most focussed work is now done from home, so the focus of the office is now to facilitate the collaboration and communication that can't be done at home.
Designing for hybrid working is more than taking out some desks and adding a breakout zone. Hybrid-centred design requires a complete rethink of how your people use the office. Key considerations are how they communicate, the size of teams they work in, and the frequency of the communication. You can then work with a designer to create a space that maximises the social interaction and collaboration ability of your teams.
The benefits of a hybrid design are threefold: talent attraction & retention, staff productivity, and company performance. With workers in high demand, talented staff are in a position to choose a company that provides them with the flexibility they want. If you don’t provide it, they will go to someone else who will.Giving your staff an office that matches the way they work will increase their output. These two effects combine together to create a talented, productive workforce- essential to improving the overall performance of your company.
While the future of the workspace may lie in collaboration, the need for variety in your workspace has not decreased. Far from it. In fact, the need for variety has increased. Your staff will work in different size teams, and the tasks they work on will require different environments. There are 4 types of spaces that feature in great office design: Focussed, semi-collaborative, collaborative, and relaxing.
While staff now complete the majority of their focussed work from home, there is still a need for office areas free of distractions. On average, employees lose 86 minutes each day at a workspace due to distractions around them. An area that is distraction-free both acoustically and visually is essential.
Many office-based workers spend much of the day working in small teams, where they need to be able to communicate but don’t need to be talking together the whole time. This hybrid of focussed and collaborative work is known as semi-collaborative. Providing for agile working will have significant benefits for the productivity of your people.
Collaboration is the fuel that drives any successful organisation. Creating spaces where your people can work together has never been more important in the workspace. 86% of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. By creating a variety of spaces such as large meeting areas (both formal and informal, you can bring your people together to collaborate.
Designing Your Office
In 2023 and beyond, companies will look to implement long-term plans that will give their staff certainty for the coming years. Central to this will be designs that maximise the use of technology to make their staff more productive. Sustainability will become accessible to more companies, while hybrid working will continue to play a key role, though not as important as in the last 3 years.
Want to learn more about designing your office in 2023? Check out our Top 6 Office Design Tips. If you’re thinking about redesigning your office, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are so many things to think about, from getting the layout right to minimising the disruption of your project. We’ve collated our top 6 design tips, including both evergreen and on-trend ideas, to help keep you on track during your next office design project.
Ready to start your office redesign? We design agile workspaces around the people that use them. We can design and deliver high-performance workspaces for your future. Talk to your workspace expert today.