When it comes to trends, the office is just like the home.
Designers the world over pitch in their ideas and innovations with vigor. And when the New Year rolls around as it has in 2016, the calendar is practically bursting with predictions about office design trends.
We’ve done some research and come up with some of the trendiest nuances in the 2016 workplace.
Trend #1: Tuck Away Those Unsightly Wires
You may or may not have noticed how many wires are crawling around your office. Think about what it takes to power one workstation: a cord for your computer, a cord for a lamp, a cord for a monitor, a cord for a desk phone, a cord for a printer and cords for whichever other devices need juice during the day.
What results is a jungle of wiring that, visually speaking, is an annoyance. This past January, Fast Company included hiding wires as one of the top trends for 2016.
We think this is a great idea, particularly because many offices are switching to an open floor plan. Partitions used to hide the tangle of cables and cords, but those walls are coming down and office managers are looking for ways to hide the wires now out in the open.
Trend #2: Big Offices Go to Employees Who Spend Big Chunks of Time in the Workplace
This interesting trend comes to us by way of the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute. Believe it or not, there are offices around the country who are taking a radically different approach to the allocation of office space.
CCIM gives the example of one business that ran out of office space. Top executives at the firm decided to take smaller offices because they were only in the building about 10% of their day. The big spaces went to engineers who were doing crucial work and needed to utilize larger spaces to accommodate their constant in-office tasks.
Trend #3: Multiuse Workspaces with Customizable Desks
As you’ve probably read, new companies are saying goodbye to traditional office designs and opting for a more fluid space. Not every business has jumped onto this trend, but there are enough out there to make this movement a concrete movement in 2016.
The concept here is simple. Tech companies, in particular are cloud oriented, which means it’s not necessarily a rule that they have to be tethered to one computer. With that in mind, an Officing Today article pointed out, many early-adopting offices are choosing adjustable-height workstations that can adapt to nearly any user. Workers bounce in and out of different workstations.
“Offices will feel more like college campuses with an open, sharing mentality,” the article notes. Like we said, this type of office plan isn’t for everyone.
Trend #4: The Community Table
Think about the last time you sat down for dinner with a group of friends or family. Assuming the meal went well, that communal atmosphere probably made for a fond memory.
Fast Company says this sense of community is at the forefront of new office culture. Therefore, employees are keen on the idea of sitting at a large table with their colleagues rather than spending the day in their cubicle.
For some of us, the idea of a cubicle isn’t so bad. We can decorate the space however we’d like; it becomes an expression of who we are. But for others, that sense of expression is best portrayed at a communal work table where they feel a sense of connection with the people around them.
Trend #5: The Great Outdoors Are Coming Inside
The possibilities here are literally endless. Offices are incorporating outdoor elements into their workspaces. Chartboost, a San Francisco-based company, uses picnic tables in their work area. In one photo we saw, there was a mini putting green rolled out on the floor right next to what looks like a pine picnic table. This setup definitely brings new meaning to “a walk in the park.”
But this trend is more than just fun and games. Other companies have taken a more refined approach, implementing exposed, finished concrete floors in their office or installing peaceful, patio-style fireplaces in their workspace.
What All This Means for Your Office
Like we mentioned earlier, trends aren’t rules; what works for one office may not work for another.
Some employees prefer working in a cubicle, while others want an open workplace. Both of these philosophies are valid, yet the each require a different style of planning and, in many cases, completely different types of furniture.
Because we keep tabs on what trends are popping up, we’re equipped to provide your office with just about any needs it has in planning and executing an office-design strategy. Our suppliers manufacture a variety of styles and price ranges, which means we have a lot of flexibility to adapt our planning process to your office’s requirements.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you plan the office that best fits your workplace’s personality and needs.