Five Trends Influencing Workplace Design

Workplace design is continually changing and evolving.  The ultimate goal of workplace design is to create a physical environment that supports employees so that they are engaged and productive. Here are the top 5 trends influencing workplace design:

  1. Increasing Competition for Talent.  As the workforce continues to age, many companies will face talent shortages.  Because of the slow growth of the labor force expected in the next few years, businesses will need to find new ways to attract the best people to their organization, one way to do that is through workplace design. Providing employees with a workspace that not only supports their wants and needs, but also offers them flexibility and choice will be critical in attracting and retaining top employees. 
  2. Maximizing Employee Well-Being. A happy and engaged employee is 12% more productive.  Focusing on employee wellness when renovating or redesigning an office, will not only increase employee wellness but can increase efficiency and productivity and decrease overhead spending.  Because more flexible working practices are taking hold, such as working from home, many workspaces have replaced allocated workstations to more flexible seating such as hoteling or hot desking.  Another design feature that increases employee wellness is landscaping the interior with plants and water features that bring the outdoors in.   
  3. Boosting Employee Engagement.  By creating a workspace where employees feel engaged in the work that they do can boost a company’s bottom line by 20 percent.  One of the best ways to increase employee engagement is through flexibility, allowing employees to work when, how and where they choose.  By including a combination of areas in your workspace like collaboration areas, quiet spaces for focused work and comfortable areas to relax will increase employee engagement.  Also, companies with engaged employees have 30-50% less turnover. 
  4. Increase Collaboration Areas.  Providing flexible, diverse spaces for employees is key and while companies still include more formal conference rooms within their space, the trend is leaning towards more comfortable and relaxed areas for employees to collaborate.  Including intimate and cozy meeting spaces will encourage impromptu collaboration and conversation for employees, oftentimes where some of the best, most innovative ideas are born.
  5. Activity-based Work Settings.  Business is always changing and unpredictable, so designers are including activity zones for specific types of activities which all employees can utilize if the need arises.  Activity zones might include comfortable, impromptu meeting areas, formal conference rooms, break out areas or collaboration rooms.  Because every employee works differently, this provides different areas for employees to work in a space where they will work best.

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