Like any aspect of the modern office, design trends come and go according to evolving tastes, demands, and expectations. TenantBase has identified 4 design trends for 2018 that can help make your office space both inviting and productive.
Biophilic design is a simple design philosophy that incorporates natural aesthetics in order to satisfy our innate connection to nature for a sense of well-being. The most obvious example of the philosophy can be seen in the use of live plants throughout an office space.
Aside from plants, other examples of biophilic design include nature-based wall dividers, terrariums on tables and desks, vertical gardens, and water features to affect a sense of calm and peace. No matter what components are used, however, the essence of biophilic design far surpasses the simple notion of integrating the outdoors into your space.
Instead, it is meant to establish and strengthen a connection towards the many different aspects of nature, including natural light sources and materials, textures and patterns, as well as common office plants. Some organizations are using the Visual Connection with Nature Pattern by integrating green walls and areas for employees to rejuvenate throughout the workday, fostering that all important connection with nature to positively impact a workforce's sense of well-being.
Despite it’s documented effectiveness, a recent study found that 47% of employees have no exposure to natural light and 58% of offices have no live plants, despite a full third of survey participants stating such factors could significantly impact a decision to work for a particular organization. In other words, these details could very well prevent talent from committing to a company, possibly impacting innovation within that company over both the short and long-term.
Designing unconventional workspaces requires some unconventional thinking. Areas that have been underutilized for work in the past – including corners, nooks and crannies, even open spaces beneath stairwells – can be used for a variety of different purposes. Technology has been the primary driver behind this trend is it allows team members to work from nearly any location within a workplace, utilizing plug-and-play functionality throughout many different areas and offices.
Think of unconventional workspaces as a combination of an inviting living room, peaceful meditation space, and inviting dressed down conference room with sofas, beanbag chairs, plants and greenery, and even yoga mats, all infusing the space with a spectrum of vibrant colors and tones, inviting for a wide range of office activities.
Although open collaborative spaces will likely always be a popular option, research has shown that employees can be distracted by this often crowded and bustling environment. As an alternative, team spaces can afford an organization a productive middleground where the atmosphere naturally lends itself to high levels of collaboration and productivity amongst segmented teams.
Team spaces offer the ability to congregate and share ideas in a relaxed but engaging setting with comfortable seating, whiteboards, and screens to make collaboration easy. Furthermore, team spaces are defined by lightweight, movable furniture on wheels, garage doors separating open spaces, plants and containers, movable green wall dividers, and whiteboards or chalkboards. Collectively, these amenities create spaces that can quickly be transformed to meet varying needs according to what a team might be working on.
As an alternative to traditional office solutions, flexible office space provides organizations the ability to use office space in a versatile and pliable manner. Also known as shared office space or flexispace, this concept relies on providing a variety of spaces for people to work from rather than tying them to desks and cubicles. In fact, some offices are already completely eliminating assigned desks. This, however, can be risky as there will always be a need for both an open plan area as well as private offices for employees who require a quiet atmosphere for focus.
As always, there isn't a single solution that will suit every organization and need. TenantBase suggests receiving input from your workforce as well as management to find a solution or group of solutions that will maximize productivity and employee satisfaction to best utilize your available space.