Office Design Trends
If you’re planning an office design & build project in 2024, you’ll likely be wondering what the major trends in office design for 2024 are. As the way staff work evolves, the spaces they work in also have to evolve. Keeping abreast of these changes is challenging. However, if you want to create a cutting-edge workspace, you’ll have to do just that.
The overarching shift driving the key office design trends in 2024 is the shift towards higher-quality office space. Driven by the popularity of hybrid working and tight labour markets, the need to crease a cutting-edge workspace has never been so great.
In this article, we’ll cover 5 emerging trends that we think will have a major impact on office design in 2024. We've looked at our recent designs, what clients are concerned about and long-term shifts in the market. By the end, you’ll know about the causes and implications of these 5 key trends, as well as how to implement them in 2024.
Recent years have seen an increased emphasis on providing a variety of environments within an office. These spaces include collaboration areas, breakout spaces, focus zones and more. In many cases, however, these spaces are underused or misused, because they’re not exactly what your people want or need. In 2024, there will be an increased emphasis on creating environments designed for your own people.
To implement this in your office, you’ll have to avoid the temptation to launch straight into the standard design & build process. Instead, you’ll need to spend more time in the planning phase, analysing how your staff work. You can collect data using motion tracking, surveys, and focus groups. This wiill allow you to build a detailed understanding of how your people work now, what parts of the office they like, and which are holding them back. From that, you can create a workspace your people love, one that improves staff performance.
As the hybrid-vs-remote-vs-office debate rumbles on, it’s likely that you will have at least some of your staff working remotely. For many companies, this is now a permanent arrangement, and they are looking to adapt their space to suit their working model. Even if all your staff are in the office 100% of the time, enabling hybrid is communication is still crucial. Key external stakeholders, such as suppliers and customers will expect to be able to interact with your people staff digitally.
This means your workspace needs to enable hybrid working and communication. Exactly what this looks like will be different for every company, but digital-first communication and hybrid collaboration facilities are essential. For example, D-shaped meeting tables with a video bar create an engaging experience for those in-person and remote. Smart whiteboards that can be seen and used by remote and in-person attendees are also becoming more popular. It’s clear hybrid working is here to stay, and 2024 will see office designs adapt to enable it.
The reluctance of staff to return to the office, low staff engagement, and poor talent attraction & retention are all complex challenges. One of the key causes of each, however, is a bland office design. For staff working in offices like this, there is little incentive to stop working from home, because their home office is just as good, if not better. It is hard to be emotionally connected to the company when working in such a bland, uninspiring environment. And if the space is worse than other companies, then you will struggle to recruit and retain top talent.
In 2024, we’ll see much more emphasis on culture-based design – creating a workspace that looks and feels like your company. This is much more than wall colours and logos. It’s about creating a space that is the living embodiment of your culture. This includes the location, the layout, the finishes, the furniture, the features, and the amenities. A good office design in 2024 will not only reflect but enhance the culture of the company. By doing so, it will create an inspiring and enjoyable environment that improves office attendance, culture, and talent retention.
The traditional office design process is company-oriented. It takes the requirements laid out in the brief and translates them into a layout and design package. Sometimes, design tweaks are made to suit the users better. However, to create high-performance workspaces, the design process needs to be approached from the other end. That means creating a great user experience first.
This means a much more in-depth research & planning phase. By going through the process of analysing your current space and getting staff input, you give yourself the opportunity to create a high-performance workspace. First, you understand what a great office environment means for them. You can merge that with the needs of your company to create balanced design concept. In 2024, this approach will be crucial to create a great user experience.
One of the biggest workspace concerns of companies over the last 3 years has been the risk of wasting precious capital on a major project that is soon obsolete – either because staff won't come back to the office, or because their requirements change quickly. While the pace of change has slowed, there is still significant uncertainty as to the future of the workspace.
The solution is to carry out a thorough analysis and planning process that will give you a good idea of how your needs will change over the next 3, 5, and 10 years. Because of the uncertainty, your design will not only need to take this into account, but also have the flexibility to make unforeseen changes. Creating spaces that can be easily adapted using modular furniture is a good way to do this. You will also need the capacity within your space to add and remove different environments as your needs change. Creating a future-proof office design is more important than ever in 2024.
Your Future Office Design
In 2024, the emphasis in office design will be on creating spaces that drive company culture and performance. Far more than somewhere to sit, the office is now a key component of your company culture, productivity, and creativity. Even if your company needs less space as you implement permanent hybrid working, the space you do have needs to be of higher quality. This will allow to you attract staff back to the office, grow staff engagement, increase productivity, and improve talent attraction & retention. Creating a great user experience is at the heart of a cutting-edge workspace – a space that your people love to be in, empowers them to work, and inspires them to perform better.
Now you know about the major trends that will change the way offices are designed in 2024, you’re able to look at your own company and office, and see how they might apply to you. You can start thinking about and preparing for your project, ready to make it the success you need it to be.
To learn more about office design, download the Definitive Office Design Guide. It walks you through everything you need to know about office design before you reach out to a design & build company. Download your office design guide here. To learn more about preparing your workspace for 2024 and beyond, read How to Create a Future Proof Workspace.