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Workplace design trends: 8 things to watch in 2023

Workplace design trends: 8 things to watch in 2023

The concept of a workplace and work itself is evolving. Throughout 2022, there has been a significant shift observed in the workplace with businesses putting more focus on employee flexibility, well-being, and empathy. 

The traditional office setup is no longer the only option, as some companies have adopted remote work, others have gone back to the office, and some have opted for a hybrid approach.

As we look back at the changes in the workplace in 2022, it’s only natural to think about what’s ahead. With that in mind, here are the top eight trends that are expected to dominate the workplace in 2023.

1. Flexibility and adaptability 

One of the top office design trends for 2023 is an emphasis on flexibility and adaptability. As remote work becomes more prevalent, traditional office spaces are becoming less relevant. In response, businesses are seeking out spaces that can easily be transformed to meet the changing needs of their employees. This includes the use of modular furniture and adaptable areas for meetings, collaboration, or individual work. 

Examples of this trend in action include Google’s office design, which incorporates modular furniture and multiple spaces for various activities, and WeWork’s flexible and adaptable workspaces.

2. Biophilic design 

Another trend that’s on the rise in office design is Biophilic design. This means bringing elements of nature into the office space. The idea is that nature has a positive impact on our well-being. You can see Biophilic design in different ways, like using natural materials, adding plants and greenery, and designing to let in natural light and views of the outdoors. 

For instance, Patagonia’s office design is built around the concept of Biophilic design which includes natural materials, plants, and plenty of natural light. Similarly, the Amazon Spheres in Seattle are an example of biophilic design, with its incorporation of indoor gardens, natural light and greenery throughout the space.

3. Collaborative spaces 

Collaborative spaces are becoming increasingly popular in office design as businesses look to foster teamwork and creativity among employees. These spaces are designed to facilitate idea-sharing and collaboration. Additionally, companies are creating dedicated spaces for collaboration such as “innovation labs” or “collaboration zones.” 

Examples of this trend in action include Facebook’s office design, which includes a variety of collaborative spaces such as team rooms, open workspaces, and brainstorming areas, and Google’s office spaces which are designed with collaboration in mind, featuring open workspaces and communal areas.

4. Wellness and mental health 

Promoting wellness in the workplace is becoming a top priority for companies as awareness of mental health issues grows. This includes incorporating amenities like meditation rooms, yoga studios, and wellness centers, as well as designing spaces that promote a peaceful and calming atmosphere through the use of natural light, plants, and other nature-inspired elements. 

BlackRock’s office design includes a wellness center with a yoga studio, meditation rooms, and a rooftop terrace, while the Salesforce office design includes a wellness room, yoga studio, and a “wellness stair” to promote physical activity. 

5. Sustainability 

Sustainability is a crucial trend in office design as companies try to reduce their environmental impact and operate more efficiently. This is achieved by the use of eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, and water conservation measures. Some companies even include features like green roofs, solar panels for generating their own energy, in the design process. 

For example, The Bullitt Center in Seattle is a LEED Platinum certified office building that incorporates sustainable design elements such as solar panels, green roofs, and rainwater harvesting. Similarly, the new Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California is designed to be one of the most energy-efficient buildings on Earth, powered by 100% renewable energy and incorporating green roofs, solar panels, and rainwater harvesting systems.

6. Technology integration

The integration of technology into office design has become essential as businesses seek to integrate it seamlessly into their workspaces, especially the implementation of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality. The use of these technologies allows for virtual meetings, remote collaboration, and the ability to visualize and interact with data in new ways. 

An example of this is PwC. The company is using virtual and augmented reality to enhance collaboration among teams and improve communication with clients. Other companies, like Deloitte, are using virtual reality to train employees and simulate real-life scenarios. Additionally, companies such as Accenture are using mixed reality to visualize data and improve decision-making processes.

7. Community and culture

Modern office design is also placing a strong emphasis on promoting a company’s culture and fostering a sense of community among employees. This is achieved through the inclusion of shared spaces such as break rooms, recreation areas, and outdoor spaces, as well as incorporating elements that reflect the company’s values and personality. 

For example, the Airbnb office in San Francisco features a “community wall” displaying photographs of hosts and guests, emphasizing the company’s mission of creating a sense of belonging among people from all over the world. Additionally, the office also has a replica of the company’s logo, a nod to the brand’s identity and values. These design elements not only create a visually appealing space, but also serve to reinforce the company’s culture and mission among its employees.

8. Acoustic design 

The shift to hybrid working in the wake of the pandemic has highlighted the importance of creating a quiet, focused work environment in the office. With many employees having spent the past two years working remotely in peaceful environments, the return to a noisy office can be jarring. In response, employers are recognizing the need to provide workspaces that offer the same level of focus and concentration as working from home. 

Examples of this trend in action include the use of sound-absorbing materials in office spaces such as Microsoft’s office design, and the inclusion of quiet zones and spaces designed for focused work, such as the “Focus Rooms” in Google’s office spaces.

When it comes to office design, whether it be for a new space or a renovation, incorporating the latest trends can help create a functional and visually appealing environment that caters to the needs of both the business and its employees. From sustainability and energy efficiency, to community-building and promoting company culture, there are a plethora of options to choose from. 

If you need assistance in planning and implementing these trends, don’t hesitate to reach out for help by getting in touch!

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