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WORKPLACE DESIGN TRENDS FOR A BETTER BUSINESS

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As our attitudes toward work have shifted, so too has our approach to workplace design. People are now retiring later, and Generation Z (those currently aged 19 and under) are beginning their careers. Long-gone are the days of spending your entire career with the same company, in the same role.

Today, not only do people change jobs regularly, but the practice is encouraged. As organisations endeavour to entice the best talent, appeal to multiple generations, and strive to overcome market challenges, office designs have become an important factor for business success.

These are the workplace design trends we think businesses should be exploring in 2018.

Activity Based Working for better business performance.

Flexible working environments that encourage collaboration and can be adapted for multiple uses are on the rise. This trend is driven by the growing popularity of Activity-Based Working (ABW) as companies seek to stay competitive and drive efficiencies across their whole business. Although this trend has been around for a while, it continues to evolve.

In 2018, flexible working is set to get even more flexible. Many companies now allow people to choose where and how they work depending on their task or preferred working style. This results in workplace designs that combine open-plan areas, quiet zones and breakout spaces as well as modular furniture and walls. Many spaces will also serve dual purposes; as we see home-style interiors creep into office design, common areas can act as meeting rooms as well as spaces to relax.

This office refurbishment strategy fosters a relaxed culture as well as promoting collaboration by encouraging social interactions and idea sharing among team members. With research suggesting ABW leads to higher staff retention rates and increased productivity, it’s likely we’ll see more office designs focusing on adaptability, flexibility, and agility.

Shared Spaces for a share-based economy.

The share economy has altered our attitudes toward many traditional services, from taxis to accommodation and even music. So it should come as no surprise that we’re seeing this influence extend to workplace design.

Big businesses are adopting co-working office refurbishment strategies that promote collaboration and unique user experiences. Much like ABW, these strategies place a greater emphasis on designing spaces that create a community, flexibility and a great work culture. With evidence suggesting these practices lead to innovation and a more productive workforce, it’s no wonder large corporations have started emulating the trend.

Christie Co-Work | Brisbane CBD. Built by Unita & designed by WMK Architecture

The emergence of digital innovations, including cloud computing – a significant part of the sharing economy – are also reducing the need for fixed office and IT infrastructure. As technology enables people to work outside the office, organisations can save money by downsizing, and implementing purposeful office designs that utilise their space more effectively. Taking it a step further, some businesses are even renting out their surplus space to create mini co-working environments that fulfil all of the above while also helping reduce monthly costs.

Workplace wellness designs for staff well-being.

The term ‘wellness’ has become somewhat of a buzzword lately. Encouraging a positive work-life balance and being mindful of employees’ physical and psychological well-being is a growing consideration for many big businesses.

In the past, wellness programs that facilitate a fun and supportive environment have been implemented when looking to boost morale, reduce stress or even increase productivity. This year, the wellness trend is evolving even further. Employee well-being is now considered an integral part of the office design process.

Cove Co-Work | Newstead, Brisbane. Built by Unita & designed by Collectivus

Seven key factors have been identified as crucial considerations when designing spaces that promote wellness: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. These elements can be expressed in a multitude of ways, including:

  • Zones for different tasks or work styles
  • Ergonomic furniture such as sit-stand desks
  • Greenery and sunlight (Biophilic design) for mood enhancement
  • Flexible work settings that promote greater movement and less sedentary working.

On the flipside, research also shows there are a number of ways bad workplace design can negatively affect people’s wellness. The advantages of good workplace design extend beyond visual and productivity factors – it’s also incredibly important for your employees’ health.

Big data for smarter workplace design.

We’ve already talked about the importance of understanding the needs of both your business and employees when it comes to workplace design. Data-driven design takes this idea one step further, making research-led design one of this year’s hottest trends.

Businesses now have access to many tools and services that can capture insights like never before. By collecting and analysing these insights, designers are able to make smarter decisions about the types of spaces and elements that would be best suited to a particular organisation.

Technology Orbis Pro

For instance, understanding how much time people spend away from their desks or in break-out spaces, how often they work outside the office, how they use technology, or how they interact with the space around them, all provide vital information that can alter the final workplace design.

New apps and senor systems that allow designers to analyse space utilisation, traffic patterns and even optimum temperatures can help determine the mix of meeting rooms, shared spaces and desks required.

Common to all the workplace design trends outlined in this article has been the massive impact they can have on your business – for good or bad. The most important thing to remember is your workplace should reflect your business’s needs, the work you do, your culture and your values. Interior trends may come and go but understanding the human experience and providing a personalised approach is key to creating a workplace that is functional, resonates with your team and fosters a productive and efficient environment.

While any workplace can be designed to be innovative and attractive, this counts for nothing if your business and employees don’t engage with or enjoy the space. When applied correctly, data can help deliver a tailored office refurbishment solution that contributes to creating a positive, productive and personalised environment.

Say No To Design Trends

Common to all the workplace design trends outlined in this article has been the massive impact they can have on your business – for good or bad.

The most important thing to remember is your workplace design should reflect your business’s needs, the work you do, your culture and your values. Interior trends may come and go, but understanding the human experience and providing a personalised approach is key to creating a space that is functional, resonates with your team and fosters a productive and efficient environment.

Unita can develop a workplace design that suits the needs of your organisation. We specialise in delivering office fitouts throughout Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and beyond.

Together we can develop a strategy that delivers better results and better experiences for your business.

Request a free quote today.

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