Article by: Skylar Ross
When considering where the trajectory of office design trends is headed, it is important to pay mind to a few aspects, including shifts in trends pertaining to sustainability, productivity, and increased attention to employee well being and mental health. Below are a few innovative trends to look out for in the coming years.
More Flexible Spaces for Employee Satisfaction
Due in part to both new technology and increased focus on collaboration, rooms with a single function will likely become outdated. More flexible spaces will allow employees to collaborate, hold a meeting at the company’s lunch area, or conduct meetings in more informal environments. Many offices have begun to expand lounge areas to encourage people to leave their individual workspaces with others, as well as to increase productivity and creativity by offering a wide variety of workspaces for people to choose from throughout the day.
Companies are also opting to develop their leisure and entertainment spaces, in the hopes that employees will choose to eat lunch on-site or stay in the office for a drink before heading out for the day, fostering a stronger overall sense of community. This blend of spaces is expected to improve overall employee satisfaction and productivity, as straying from the traditional 9-5 spent sitting alone at a desk is outdated.
Glass Conference Rooms and Offices
Many offices are opting for glass conference rooms and community spaces, as a conference room made of glass partitions provides enough privacy for an individual to have a private conversation, but also creates the perception of more openness and accessibility between the individual and the broader office. Traditional walls are likely going out of style, as blocking an office into closed-off spaces inhibits collaboration, productivity, and makes the space feel smaller. In time with the trend, companies are finding newer and newer ways to configure glass walls creatively to suit the individual needs of each office. Looking to the future, it’s likely that glass walls will have frosted glass or LCD privacy features for more private meetings, and will be creatively adapted to the unique needs of each company.
In tandem with glass conference spaces, many are also opting for screen wall panels between desks and individual workspaces, as screen panels are not as excluding as office wall partitions, but also create privacy in the open spaces that more and more companies are opting for.
Stained Concrete Floors
Traditional office spaces with concrete floors are about to take a new turn, as a stained concrete floor brings a modern and sleep look to an office space, no matter how industrial it may be in the beginning. Concrete flooring is a popular choice because it’s quite durable and requires very little maintenance. A stained concrete floor has nearly endless possibilities, and can bring an entirely new look to a space. Colors and textures can be easily mixed to taste, and stamps can be pressed into the material when it’s poured to create the look of stone, tile, or brick. This floor option is highly customizable while also being durable and thus worth the initial investment.
The future of office design is more innovative and collaborative than ever. With an increased focus on collaboration and employee satisfaction there will be more open office spaces with more dual-purpose spaces. Offices will also likely source materials for renovations from recycled materials or alternative technologies, and opt to increase energy efficiency whenever possible. Thus, the future of office design trends is quite exciting.
Skylar Ross is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. He is a blogger and content writer for the architecture industry. Skylar is focused on helping architects and building designers discover new techniques, find ways to save on costs and discover new modern innovative materials to use in their next project.