It’s getting to that time of year where we look forward to the next 12 months and what it will bring in the world of office design. While 2017 saw many businesses updating their workplaces to adapt to the new technological and economic environments, 2018 looks to shake things up even further with unconventional workspaces, agile working and nature integration taking the centre stage as more and more millennials enter the workplace, creating new and different challenges
So, here are our top 6 predictions for office design trends we’ll see grow in 2018:
One of the most popular talking points we’ve had with clients over the past couple of years or so is on multipurpose ‘dynamic’ workspaces. Work isn’t what it used to be. Workers need offices that can adapt to their needs depending on the task at hand.
A great example of this is Google’s ‘The Garage’ lab – a highly dynamic workspace that can be changed around to encourage creativity. While not every business will want a space like this, lessons can be gleaned from this quirky space to help improve creativity in the workplace.
While we’ve written about agile working before, 2018 is looking to be the year many businesses across the UK, small and large, adopt agile working design as a way of improving productivity and company culture within their workplaces. Many large companies such as Google, BT and Unilever already employ the methodology and the results of which are impressive. There’s little doubt smaller companies will see the benefit in transforming their workplace over the coming 12 months.
There’s little doubt that having plants in the office increases productivity and overall happiness, but many workplaces aren’t taking advantage of this simple yet effective addition. A popular and stylish way of integrating nature into your office is plants walls – spaces of wall or cubical divider devoted to growing leafy plants. We expect to see this trend continue into 2018 as more and more workplaces realise the benefits of bringing some outdoors in.
Personalised workspaces have been shown to help improve worker output and work satisfaction by helping them feel more at home, giving them a sense of belonging and allowing them to express their individuality. This personalisation can help bridge the gap between work and home, helping employees feel less detached from a space that feels natural for them, helping them to relax and enjoy their workplace. It is important, however, to ensure that this doesn’t become a distraction.
Technology has become more and more prominent in the workplace over the past couple of decades and will most likely continue to do so in 2018. Adding technology to areas such as meeting spaces, conference rooms and even breakout rooms (where many great ideas have been had throughout history) can help workers capture their thoughts on the go and ensure they stay connected to the company and its mission.
The traditional cubicle design of the workplace has gradually been transforming over the past couple of decades into much more open and collaborative offices. With companies such as Apple and Pixar leading the way in terms of collaboration (Steve Jobs was a big fan of designing workplaces around ‘chance meetings’, he even wanted to put just 1 toilet in the Apple headquarters to force workers to interact), companies small and large can take a page from the book of successful, innovative companies leading the way in terms of team collaboration; a trend we expect see grow in 2018.