Office spaces as we know them are constantly changing. Both design and utilization of space are immensely important to productivity and office culture. Keep up with the latest office design trends of 2017 with these highlights.
Gone are the days of static furniture and desks! Modern offices are being built with flexibility and efficiency in mind. Instead of having assigned desks, “unassigned touch down spaces” are now ideal. Other ideas are communal work spaces such as long tables and shared desking. Personal workspace is getting smaller, and companies are often looking to rotate them frequently. The idea behind all of this is to ignite collaboration. By having people move around more you will inevitably spark creativity, new ideas and opinions that you might not have gotten from the original group or individual.
Another part of this is placing the kitchen far away from the general work area. There are a few reasons for this, the first being health. It forces people to get up and stretch their legs because, even if they work at a standing desk, it’s not good for them to be in one position all day. It also drives foot-traffic through the office. If your business is on the larger side it is possible that the only people they will interact with all day are those around them. But if they have to walk through the office to fill up their water bottle, they might stop and chat with others along the way.
More Meeting Space
Offices are taking a step away from traditional meeting spaces such as conference rooms. Instead, they are favoring something called huddle spaces. These are areas on the office floor that can serve the same purpose as a conference room, but with a more relaxed and cozy feeling. This could be a set of high-top tables, a few comfy chairs or a semi-private booth. Whichever option you choose to go with, remember that writable surfaces and outlets should be accessible. In addition, having a projector or screen that employees can use to wirelessly project their work or videoconference on is important as well.
That being said, acoustics and noise are factors you must take into consideration. Including quiet workspace into the office is important too, just make sure that the quiet areas are a safe distance from the communal ones. Maybe consider designing rooms that can be divided or provide mobile dividers for huddle spaces. While huddle spaces are great, they are not the best when it comes to client meetings. So, be sure to still include a closed off area or conference room dedicated to such events.
Bringing the Outdoors In
Incorporating elements of nature into the office is another trend that is popping up in 2017. Natural lighting is a great way to wake up the people who have to sit in an office for eight or more hours each day, and warms up the office emotionally as well as physically. When you are trying to figure out the best way to set up desks, if you choose to have them at all, try to configure them to get the best light possible. Plants are also beneficial for the air supply in the office as they purify the air. Adding a touch of nature into your workspace truly can change the energy completely.
With all of that being said, there are a few more things to remember when designing your new space:
- When it comes to the colors of your office, branding is more important than ever before (but don’t forget about what we know about color and productivity).
- Filing rooms have become a thing of the past, free up the space one would normally use by moving your documents to the cloud.
- Flexibility is key. With mobile technology it is becoming easier for people to move around the office freely, so have your furniture reflect that as well.
- Give them plenty of options for work stations, have the spaces reflect the nature of the work and encourage collaboration by lowering the walls between cubicles.
The office is meant to bring out the best in the employees, not the other way around. Do your best to create an environment that will make employees comfortable as well as harness productivity. By doing all of this you will not only inspire your current employees but you will attract more in the future.
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