By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
Every year brings new office layout trends. A decade ago, the open office floor plan revolutionized what a workplace could be. Today, concepts like hot desking and agile spaces are turning the tables on what a productive workplace looks like.
With 2019 in full swing, it’s time to look at emerging workplace layout trends. Options are more diverse than ever, and perhaps even more intriguing is how the focus is on people more than the work that happens.
Here are eight workplace design trends for 2019:
- Big, welcoming atriums: Say goodbye to cramped waiting rooms and stuffy administration spaces. Big, open atriums give visitors and employees a great first impression. It’s all about welcoming people in a way that embraces them. Comfortable furniture, thoughtful décor, and bright, welcoming colors add to the good vibes.
- Experience-driven spaces: When workers can immerse themselves in what they’re doing, their work will reflect a whole new level of excellence. This is the idea behind experience-driven spaces. They’re engaging areas that get the creative juices flowing and channel positive energy into the task at hand. These spaces range from game rooms and rock-climbing walls to multimedia theaters.
- Cohabitation, co-working, and cohort spaces: Co-working has been gaining momentum for the past several years. To promote a more social, collaborative workplace environment—while also maximizing space—shared desks, offices, and communal areas are hot trends.
- Relaxation spaces: Nap rooms, meditation areas, and quiet spaces are must-haves in the workplace. Employees need places to recoup and take a break from the buzz of the workplace, if only for a few minutes. Bonus: Quiet spaces are good for employee wellbeing. They’re shown to improve mental health and mood, while lowering stress and tension.
- On-site eats: The break room used to be the hotspot where employees congregated for food and socializing. This year, full kitchens, cafés, and cafeterias are breaking out. They offer bigger perks to employees, such as freshly prepared food, diverse selections, and the convenience of in-house meal options.
- Discrete workspaces: There’s always been a push to maximize square footage in the workplace. Discrete workspaces are a result. A single desk tucked away in a corner serves as a great hot desk, while the unused media closet can transform into a meditation room. These examples and more are part of the trend to make use of all available square footage in a way that prevents overcrowding, friction, and drops in productivity.
- Social offices for team-building: Open office concepts aren’t new, but they’re still evolving. Case in point: The social office. Social offices are comprised of desk neighborhoods and desk clumps that give employees their own space, while concentrating on the group as a whole. This layout encourages open collaboration, without stripping employees of personal space. It’s a great option for companies with lots of square footage, but not a lot of diversity in that workspace. The best part is, it can be folded into other concepts as well, such as hot desking.
- Fitness and wellness: Front and center in the employee wellness and morale movement is emphasis on spaces for fitness. This is a broad basket of areas, ranging from meditation rooms and kitchens (as mentioned above) to on-site gyms or a couple of treadmills or stationary bikes. Dedicating a small part of your office for wellness reinforces the idea of a holistic workplace. Don’t have the space to dedicate to a gym or kitchen? No problem. Consider bringing in a massage therapist or acupuncturist once or twice a month.
If these trends are any sign of how the workplace is evolving (including modern workplace trends) , focus is beyond the physical space and on the people within it. Companies have finite square footage to work with, which means finite opportunities to make the best possible use of it. Dedicating space to fulfilling the wants and needs of employees is tantamount to making the best possible reinvestment in what you have.