As the year 2020 ushers in a new decade, rapid technological advancements, shift in the global economy, and a transformed world-view of things is changing the way we look at offices. The conventional office framework is gradually moving towards an increasingly worker-friendly sphere, where employees look forward to come to work because the workplace is not just productive but also experiential.
These are the top workplace trends to watch out for this year:
Sustainability in office landscape
Workplaces are increasingly set up to incorporate sustainable and wellness-oriented designs, integrating sustainably sourced and minimally processed design and décor items. This trend will also see the incorporation of natural elements such as green plants, potted flowers, aquatic systems, ergonomically efficient furniture, abundant natural lighting, fresh air, and soothing sound systems to lend a feeling of serenity and beauty, in contrast of traditional office designs. Building such natural zones in the office not only creates a calming and soothing effect on the workforce, but also enhances productivity and overall well-being.
The third biggest wave of outsourcing
New-age offices will outsource peripheral office management functions such as space building, interior design, operations, HR, and administration so that organisations can focus solely on their core processes. This goes a long way in achieving seamless optimisation of a company’s efforts in achieving its established targets.
The next evolutionary phase in the flexible space segment is dynamic flexibility which reaffirms the fact that any service provider should be dynamic enough to adapt to the constantly evolving business environment and fluctuations in the demand-supply continuum. Dynamic flexibility defines a multi-faceted functional space that can adapt and transform itself with the changing tune of time, embracing an ergonomic and multipurpose furniture-forward philosophy.
Bringing back the wood
Designers are increasingly adding wooden furnishing and fittings to office designs to lend it an authentic and organic feel. With wooden interiors slipping back into vogue, one can expect warm and textured wood, structural and wall fittings incorporating wooden elements and natural accent details in future workspace designs.
Branded feel-good spaces
It’s an emerging trend where employees expect branded offices from their employers, taking care of all their major needs. A branded workspace is more than a crude and conventional piece of real estate. It is a certified premium quality innovative employee-beneficial space decked with a variety of value-added services and partner discounts benefiting each member.
This year will continue to witness the traditional workspace conventions being unseated by the remote-working trend.
Thanks to robust time management, communication software, and employee productivity software tools that promote creative freedom and flexibility, remote working is gaining widespread prominence. This fast-evolving trend permits both the personal and professional aspects of the employee to co-exist in mutual harmony.
The rise of collaborative workspaces
Collaborative workspace is the next big thing when it comes to new-age workstations. They efficiently enable work-life integration by retaining and inspiring the workforce with the intention of merging their professional expertise with their extra-curricular passions. With the help of creative thinking and knowledge sharing, these offices of the future aim to heighten the morale of the employees by encouraging valuable interactions and dialogues.
An optimum workspace strategy permits organisations to gain the highest possible returns from their investments. It revolves around repurposing unproductive and underutilized spaces within an office to optimise costs while enhancing business performance. Curating a dedicated workplace strategy not only ensures optimal space utilisation but also helps in keeping employees engaged.
Technology - the untapped goldmine in real estate
The year 2020 is expected to mark higher technological intervention in office design and landscape catering to the smart and mobile workforce. The technological reformation of the office planning system will usher in transparency, centralisation, and innovation. Cognisant of this trend, real estate players are focusing on building smart offices in order to generate smart user experiences by developing mobile applications facilitating office management on the tap of a finger. This, in turn, leads to enhanced employee experience, which is essential to remain competitive and retain talent.
IPCs and the flexi-space ecosystem
International property consultants (IPCs) are venturing beyond their core function of real-estate consultation and entering the flexible office solution segment, generating greater buzz and increased activity in this particular avenue. This trend is gaining ample ground as exemplified by CBRE Group, Inc., an American commercial real estate services and investment firm that recently launched its premium offering of tailor-made flexible workspaces, HANA. Another example includes JLL, the American commercial real estate service giant investing in Qdesq, a platform that engages affordable and serviced branded space providers.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)