By Noam Livnat
Chief Product & Innovation Officer
SpaceIQ

To an outsider, laying out an office may mean including enough desks, meeting rooms, and a break area to make it easy for employees to work. Workplace experts understand that our physical and virtual spaces influence short- and long-term performance. The best office layout trends present new opportunities to boost productivity, reduce wasted space, and offer environments built for the different ways people work.

Current office layout trends incorporate technology and adaptive workstations to improve efficiency and meet workers’ needs. Workplace managers are focusing more on flexibility, teamwork, comfort, and minimizing distractions.

Advances in technology and a shift in the attitude toward static workstations is yielding new approaches to workplace designs. There are benefits and drawbacks to whichever workplace layout strategy you choose, including the creation of an all-virtual office in lieu of a physical space. As you plan, consider office layout pros and cons:

  • Collaborative Areas: Informal group workstations make teamwork feel more organic. When you offer more collaborative spaces, employees won’t feel like they’re taking up an important space and will be more apt to gather. Furnishings should allow people to sit together and collaborate. One setback to this modern office layout trend is the distraction that comes with open areas.
  • Quiet Areas: Sometimes employees need a space free of distractions. Disruptions from conversations and even foot traffic can break a worker’s concentration. Shier employees may gravitate to these spaces and hamper collaboration, so think about limiting secluded time if the work doesn’t call for it.
  • Hot Desking: Businesses with traveling and telecommuting employees can dramatically cut costs by implementing a hot desk strategy. This flexibility is useful for short-term teamwork and freeing for employees who like to switch between work areas.

However, there are drawbacks to the absence of more traditional workplaces. Facilities managers should anticipate some social and emotional impacts, including:

  • Competition for the best locations
  • Inability to “settle” into desks
  • Social anxiety about deciding where to sit
  • Disruption to the seniority hierarchy
  • Difficulty bonding with ever-changing neighbors

New approaches to workspace planning present opportunities to cut costs and accommodate the different ways people work. Taking the time to plan a modern, yet human-centered, layout will boost productivity, foster communication, and reduce burnout. Leveraging modern office layout trends can make for a more profitable operation.

Keep reading: Modern Office Planning and Layout Types