Office Tips

The Latest Office Design Trends and Changes

The Latest Office Design Trends and Changes

The Latest Office Design Trends and Changes

It is no surprise that this year is bringing changes in office design trends. After most employees spent nearly a year working from home, companies are now starting to bring people back to the office. Some companies are giving office design trendsemployees the option to work a hybrid schedule, while others are looking at what the office space of the future needs to be for everyone to return. In response, changes to workspaces that will keep employees connected, safe and productive are well underway. Here is a look at what we are seeing in office design trends:

 

Smaller spaces

With a continued need for companies to consider social distancing, it makes sense to assume that office space needs to be larger or configured differently to allow more room to spread out. What we are actually seeing is the opposite. The current office design trends are leaning towards smaller spaces. There are a few reasons driving this trend. First, many employees are opting to continue to work from home. As a result, companies are bringing less people into the office, and they are looking to save money by leasing smaller spaces.

 

Employees discovered that they enjoyed the flexibility of working from home and many are opting to continue to work from home for a few days of the week, or even full time. The ability to have some employees working from home and others in the office decreases the number of desks and office space a company will need.

 

New office configurations

Another trend that is emerging in response to the past year is demand for minimizing direct contact of employees throughout the workday. Companies are addressing this by creating teams that are grouped separately throughout the office. These teams act as a pod with their own office space within the larger office environment. Desks are either facing away from each other or may have a plexiglass partition added.

 

As companies require less space for employees, they are looking at alternatives for large unused spaces and ways to cut costs. In some cases, they are negotiating new leases, looking for smaller space and in other cases, they are adding partitions or walls to sublet or share space with another company.

 

Integrating Technology

Technology continues to be an important resource within the workspace. One office design trend that is becoming standard is adding screens to meeting rooms to allow for virtual group meetings between individuals that are not physically in the office. Companies are also designating smaller areas or offices as video conferencing rooms for employees to use. The increasing demand for private space comes with a demand for a reduction in noise from the main office. A heavy reliance on online calls and communications is requiring upgrades to internet connections and reliable Wi-Fi. A bad internet connection can and will derail a meeting and decrease productivity – two things companies want to avoid.

 

As a result, companies are spending more time and money setting up systems that will support multiple devices and platforms. The goal is to create a more seamless and stress-free environment that will allow employees to focus on doing their jobs – in and out of the office. As the technology becomes more user friendly, employees are relying less on skilled IT professionals for assistance in operating the systems.

 

Increased focus on health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing are at the forefront for many companies and office design trends are taking this into consideration. Ensuring that offices are safe for employees to return to for in-person operations is spurring new cleaning practices and protocols, especially for common areas. This includes adding sinks to break rooms and communal kitchens along with hand sanitizer stations to encourage more handwashing. Trash cans are being moved from underneath individual desks to large trash cans in common areas to increase sanitation within the office as a whole and to reduce touchpoints for cleaning crews. Another wellness practice that is gaining popularity is minimizing clutter and personal items on desks. Some companies are even going as far as eliminating assigned desks. This allows for more flexibility for use of space with hybrid work schedules and surfaces can be cleaned and sanitized more easily to prevent germs. Another significant focus is on office ventilation and air quality. Upgrades to HVAC systems and the addition of live plants are being utilized to encourage the flow of oxygen.

 

While the need for commercial space is changing, real estate investors and developers are continuing to purchase and build. If you are involved in a commercial transaction, our experts in title and escrow are available to answer questions and facilitate a successful closing.

Posted in Office Tips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.