3 Workplace Trends on the Rise
Walking through the Chicago Loop each morning has helped me identify three workplace trends on the rise within the design industry. I spend a lot of time observing architecture, noting how old, traditional finishes meet new ones and mingle with technology. And as I peer into offices, I’ve noticed that fitness centers are often available within office buildings, and that designers have increasingly planned spaces with workstations of varying heights within once space. Each of these components combine to highlight the following trends:
We’ve talked about wellbeing at turnstone and we referred to it as giving everyone the opportunity to move around and support different postures.This is achieved by offering a variety of seating and table heights to promote active sitting, standing and movement. It encourages movement as well as social interaction with peers. While this is still true, we also see buildings providing amenity spaces such as fitness centers. Business owners now understand the relation of healthy employees with productivity and attracting and retaining talent.
Part of wellbeing is also providing privacy. An example is having a dedicated a space for a mother’s room. Most mothers go back to work after their maternity leave but continue breastfeeding. Offering a private, dedicated space for these new mothers sends a positive message of giving support when they come back to work.
2. Multi-Generational Spaces
Although there has been a push for open spaces where everyone can take in the views and enjoy some sunlight, there are still traditional workplaces where this isn’t a reality. When private offices line the perimeter window (and you’re not one of the lucky ones with an office), much of the natural light is lost. Though not everyone can renovate their space, owners realize that multigenerational teams will accept thoughtful compromises in order to attract and retain talent. For instance, opening the space to a deck at key areas, installing modern light fixtures and providing an outdoor patio area offer modern lounge spaces for quick team meetings and social interactions. Each will make your space more functional and inviting.
3. Integration of Technology
Visuals are not static anymore—they are continuous and flexible. For example, I’ve seen LCD screens change colors and loop branding and client logos during customer visits. It’s like taking the energy and brightness of Time Square and shrinking it to a size of a screen, and multiplying that to fill a whole wall. Another trend is the ability to show your collaborating skills when clients and consultants are in different parts of the country or world with tools like telepresence and countless other virtual meeting platforms. It’s amazing how we’re now able to get things done and create relationships without actually meeting in person.
While I still believe that in-person meetings are powerful, the fact remains that times have changed, and we have to think globally. As a whole, technology reflects forward thinking and a company’s ability to widen its reach. Having this capability and willingness to change attracts talent and clients.
I’m always interested in seeing how interior designers and the furniture industry will adapt and support the shifting workplace demographic.
What will happen in the next 5 years? How far will building owners go to attract and retain talent?
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