Silicon Valley tech startups, as well as many creative industries, have ushered in an entirely new way of looking at the office space. Once infamous for the dreaded cubicle or shuttering teams away in separate rooms, the office space of the future is flexible, open and spacious.
This highlights a trend for many employers to focus on employee engagement, health and wellbeing as they realise the value of their people.
Some of the latest trends for offices this year represent not only stylistic choices but also increase productivity and employee satisfaction. Here are out top ten trends for this year and the rest of the decade.
The top ten office trends for 2017
Instead of using the old “pod” style team configuration, with its dividers literally separating staff from each other, a new trend moves toward collaborative workstation.
Groups of desks that allow each team member to adapt the space to their individual needs, they also encourage communication and collaboration with a lack of dividers or screens.
The open-plan office is a trend that continues to evolve.
While solely open-plan spaces can sometimes be noisy and distracting, new interior design trends are being implemented that create “hybrid” spaces – allowing collaboration and cross-team working while supplying private areas for when you need some peace.
Whiteboards are being quickly replaced with SMART boards – interactive boards that connect to computers and projects and which allow the use of a smart pen for endless working without worrying about running out of ink or paper.
Glass fronted conference rooms
Occasionally disparaged as “the fishbowl,” nonetheless glass-walled conference rooms continue their popularity. They tend to create a more welcoming space for those outside and for staff members using the room, they create a sense of more space and less “hemmed-in” feeling.
Staff canteens are being swapped out for lounge kitchens. Hard chairs and tables are out, sofas and TVs are in. Break times are precious in the office and creating a space for staff to genuinely relax results in more employee satisfaction and productivity.
The trend towards cloud-based computing continues unabated as wireless broadband speeds catch up with the needs of employers. Many offices are now finally able to move to entirely paper-free offices, instead using collaborative cloud-based software like Google Docs and Dropbox Paper.
This trend shows no sign of slowing in popularity. As more workers do a mix of office and remote working, hot-desks are crucial. The sense of being able to rock up with your laptop to any free desk and do some work gives many employees that all-important sense of freedom.
Wireless working also means fewer cables, which means less clutter and more flexibility. Where once desks positions were defined by how close they were to server banks, printers and the link, the open-plan worker is truly free to be flexible.
In line with an improved focus on employee health and wellbeing, many employers are now installing on-site gyms and fitness suites, allowing staff to work out first thing, at lunch or before they head home at night. Employers who don’t have space can consider corporate voucher schemes with the local gym.
Standing desks have grown immensely in popularity in recent years and, as people become more comfortable with the idea, this will continue. Sit-stand desks are seen a great compromise, allowing staff to choose when they sit or stand to work.
Gresham Rise Sit-Stand Desks will bring your office up-to-date
If you’re looking to bring the workplace into the 21st Century, consider Gresham Rise Sit-Stand Desks. These versatile desks give employees the freedom to decide how they are used and can adapt their working position over the course of the day.
Gresham Rise Sit-Stand Desks are stylish and practical too – they come with a range of storage add-ons and a unique modern finish. With a 5-year guarantee, you know they’re built to last. Take a look at the full range here.