Office Design Trends for 2016

"Two elements of collaboration have fundamentally changed for both employers and employees. Employees desire social connections while collaborating, and organizations are seeking innovation to succeed. Innovation is nurtured through in­formal, creative interactions, and workplaces are shifting from 'me' to 'we' environments with a wide assortment of technology-rich, adaptable group spaces are offered. To foster social interaction, companies are providing more lounge spaces, cafes or markets with features such as ping pong or foosball."

"The average American sits for 7.7 hours per day. Being sedentary for that long over a prolonged period of time has negative impacts on a person's health. Providing adjustable-height workstations gives employees the ability to stand while work­ing. Access to natural light or views of the outdoors improves productivity, as well as employee satisfaction. The workplace needs to promote physical health, as well as mental and social well-being through opportunities to engage in spontaneous meetings and the freedom to move between social times."

"Workplaces are more diverse than ever, with as many as five generations working together. Millennials are changing the work environment because they are generally more productive in cafe or lounge settings versus the traditional cubical workstations. Providing more open places for informal meetings is a successful strategy, since this generation requires less privacy than baby boomers. When it comes down to it, workplace design is really about choice and control - giving people the choice of where they want to work and the type of space that's best suited for them."

"Worker mobility is causing companies to rethink what kind of real estate they require. Personal workspaces are getting smaller and workplaces have a higher density. The trend is the result of moving casual meetings away from the cubicle or office to huddle areas with more interesting, upholstered furniture. Remember, though: Efficient design is not about decreasing square footage, but about increasing utilization."

Originally published by the Corridor Business Journal, December 21-27, 2015 Issue

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