With advancements in technology, new annual goals and employee turnover, it’s safe to say the workplace is ever-changing. But even with all the changes that happen, one thing remains the same—you need an office that’s useful and enjoyable to employees.
Your office design needs to be clean, simple and aesthetically pleasing. It needs to engage employees and make them efficient, all while supporting their different wants and needs. Your office design and the technology you use should also bring your employees together and help them perform at their best level.
So what can you do in 2017 to please employees and boost office productivity?
Trend 1: Create spaces that are agile.
Employees want flexibility. In order to get that flexibility, they need a workspace that allows them to work where and how they need to. Modular components fulfill that need. Furniture that can be moved around, mixed together and stacked create work areas where every worker type and personality type can engage, share, create and innovate based on their day’s or specific project’s needs. Modular or demountable walls will be more in demand in 2017, specifically in conference and meeting room areas, so it’s easy to block them off when privacy is needed.
Trend 2: Design with desk hoteling in mind.
Unassigned seating gives employees even more flexibility. It gives them the freedom to choose where they want to work when they’re in the office instead of being confined to the same desk 40 hours a week. If their current project requires heads-down work, then they can go sit at a desk in a quiet part of the building. If the marketing and sales departments need to plan their strategy for the next year, they can meet together in one space to brainstorm for the morning.
But, desk hoteling will only work if you use desk reservation software. This way, employees can remain mobile throughout the day and your office can reduce real estate costs from reduced unused desk space, all without employees playing a game of disorganized musical chairs.
Trend 3: Write up neighborhood agreements.
In a recent post, we asked Allyson Strowbridge what elements and steps are needed to design a flexible workspace. One thing she mentioned more companies will start doing are crafting office “neighborhood agreements.” That is, for your different work areas, you have employees agree on what behaviors are and aren’t acceptable when working there like if it’s OK to take a personal call or Skype with a client at the six-person desk they’re working at.
Setting office area norms and getting everyone involved and to agree on acceptable behaviors is a way to maintain office productivity as employees leave private offices and cubicles.
Trend 4: Utilize wireless technology.
The mobile workforce is projected to reach 105.4 million workers in 2020, accounting for approximately three-quarters of the entire U.S. workforce. Mobility is crucial for today’s workforce, and wireless technology is a critical component of mobile workers having success. Whether working from home, on an airplane, at a client site or on different floors in your office building, employees have to be able to keep in constant communication with other employees and up-to-date on current projects. Your office should use various wireless technology, like good in-office WiFi, mobile devices, and wireless chargers, if you haven’t already implemented these. Choose laptops and iPads over desktop computers. And to keep those mobile devices and the mobile employees using them powered up and productive, use wireless charging devices. Wireless charging makes charging convenient, no matter what part of the office someone is in, and it removes the tangled, messy barrier of long wires and bulky adapters. Wireless technology gives your office a cleaner, more organized look makes it easier for employees to move about during the day and gets rid of battery life issues, which 46% of people say is a major mobile productivity challenge.
As we move into a new year, move your company in the right direction by following these design trends for 2017. You’ll get the most out of your employees, and they’ll get the most out of their in-office work experience.
Need help? Our staff has helped thousands of organizations approach their workspace design with these trends in mind, contact us to chat about your next office design project.