FM newsroom – office design. Businesses are looking to reduce their office footprint, and while companies tend to take up less space, they are looking for high-quality offices. In addition, businesses are under pressure to provide a work environment that supports attracting and retaining talent. These expectations strongly determine office design trends in 2024.
2024 will see businesses invest in the quality of their spaces which will in turn affect the quality of the time spent in the office. As uptake for ‘super prime’ office space grows, it is clear that the workspace needs to provide that much-needed elevated experience as organisations take into account the individual requirements of their people – Patrick Isitt, content specialist in office design and build at Oktra believes. Isitt has collected some of the trends that are believed to drive office design trends in 2024.
Working from home meant more choice, be it the ability to move into another room for focused work or to step out for some fresh air, it enabled us to expand our environments within close proximity. A retreat space can be much needed for many to recharge. These spaces provide variety within the office, in a physical and visual sense, offering a different mode of being in a work environment.
A retreat space can take shape as a dedicated library or a quiet corner in the office which is furnished in a different style to its immediate surroundings in that part of the office. The term retreat is about reflecting in a space that is decidedly different to the rest of the office – Isitt points out.
Connecting across the office
The aim of encouraging movement is to avoid “nesting”, where staff remain in designated areas often creating silos. If employees are encouraged to move around, interactions and chance encounters with others in the office will become more frequent. The workspaces where people are pulled away from where people typically work, become more effective.
Positioning certain amenities and spaces further away than what they’re used to incentivises people to move through the office and improves collaboration and socialising. This ultimately helps to enhance productivity and the quality of interactions, making time in the office more purposeful.
The term “resimercial” combines residential and commercial concepts, and the “hotelification” of the workplace is about learning from the rules of hospitality, namely the hotel environment. When we apply these ideas to workplace design, we find that it is evolving to include individualised and aesthetically pleasing spaces. Providing a human-centric environment and elevated user experience has huge benefits in thinking, comfort, performance and working relationships.
Much comes down to how it feels to be in the office. Features like access to natural light, access to food and beverage amenities and technology, or small details like customizable lighting and temperature control, seating and quality materials matter more than we might think.
Navigating the combination of people in the office and people working remotely can make it difficult for people dialling in to feel included. This may impact their ability to contribute in the right way or indeed be effective. In this circumstance, technology is not the only aspect which needs to be considered. Small changes, like introducing d-shaped tables which fit flush against the wall have shown to improve inclusion and participation amongst remote workers. It’s a subtle design change but quite literally gives remote workers a space at the table.
Build for adaption
We’re seeing organisations evolve their work models and policies as they have to adapt to the working landscape. What suits a business now might not be the same in a year’s time. Businesses should aim to get to a place where they can change their environment without having to completely dismantle the design and the space. This relates to desk locations and the corresponding cable infrastructure; everything needs to be considered.
We expect to see a continued demand for flexibility in the workplace, as some businesses solidify their strategies whilst others grapple with evolving conversations on working models.