The contemporary workplace is ever-changing. As technology continues to drive how we work, our workspaces must remain agile, active, and designed for the unknown. From collaborative spaces to quiet work zones, the contemporary must meet a wide variety of needs to attract and retain the ideal employee. Discover the latest design trends and how you can create your contemporary workspace.
1. A “Home-like” Atmosphere. Resi-mercial designs are still trending in today’s most sought-after workspaces. As we see a continued interest in so called “destination workspaces,” adding a sense of home with comfortable, plush sofas, relaxed lounge areas and yes, pillows only aids this at-home vibe. Touch down areas such as game rooms, coffee bars and even a place to take a quick nap or meditate help create an “at-home” sensation.
Some of our favorite sofas include Stylex Seating's Yoom and Allermuir's Oran.
2. Add nature into your workspace. Backed by scientific research, adding natural elements such as plants, natural light and raw materials increases productivity by increasing an individual’s “happy hormone.” And a happy employee is more likely to be more productive and goal oriented.
There are many ways to embrace nature within a workspace. Adding succulents or air-purifying plants to workstations and focal points throughout the workplace is a simple and low-cost way to add nature. Check our recommendations for low-maintenance plants that are perfect for the office here.
Incorporating raw materials such as wood, glass and raw metals into furniture and design is another great way to bring nature back inside.
Our favorite way to boost serotonin is by as much natural light as possible to our office. Not every office has the benefit of natural light. So, look around your workplace and make notes of darker areas or areas needing more light. Then add lamps or task lighting to those areas to help brighten space.
Also, don’t forget about glass walls and glass offices. Not only are glass walls aesthetically pleasing with their clean lines and thin profiles, but they help let in more light throughout the working environment and promotes transparency. Coworkers can see and observe what each other are doing, which helps individuals stay productive. Glass walls are a great way to reduce noise and can act as a place of solitude for people who need to concentrate.
And finally, a workspace with a view is a great way to embrace the outdoors.
3. Agility. Furniture that is easy to move, reconfigure, relocate is an absolute must for today’s workplace. Because individuals work differently, having an agile workplace that can conform to their needs is not only smart, but it is cost-effective both short-term and long-term. Agility boosts collaboration and the creation of new teams.
Think about the furniture that is currently in your space. What is used the most? How do people collaborate? What isn’t being used and why? Often, furniture that is heavy, uncomfortable and can’t easily be moved or reconfigured is rarely used because it is simply inconvenient. Time and convenience play a large roll in how we work and how well we work. Individuals want to be able to quickly pull up a chair and meet comfortably without being restricted by a space that can’t be reconfigured, moved or changed to fit their needs. Furniture that is agile, eliminates limitations.
Watch how Google makes their office agile, flexible and functional by clicking here.
4. Activity-Based Working. At today’s cutting-edge workspaces, companies are now using an office design plan called Activity-Based Working. This means is that an employee can work anywhere in the office that suits his or her current activity. Whether its laying out massive floor plans across a table and being able to stand to read them or going to a quiet corner with a laptop and really focusing on today’s to-do list, there is a space for everyone. Check out our list of different areas within an Activity-Based Work environment:
a. Open Office Area (Benching)- These areas have a more traditional type of seating arrangement where individuals can be seated using a benching system, without any walls or cubicles separating them. Open Office areas are suitable for collaborating activities where workers can ask frequent questions to one another, but lack privacy and solitude.
b. Open Office Area (Cubicles)- Another traditional type of seating arrangement in an office is workstations or cubicles. These areas are still suitable for collaboration but include privacy walls and barriers between everyone. When comparing benching systems and workstations, individuals are less distracted within a workstation or cubicle and have more privacy to focus.
c. Privacy Areas- These areas can be smaller conference rooms, sound-proof booths, or isolated seating areas where an individual can make a private phone call or have a small meeting without distracting others or fearing that others are listening. These areas can also be a place where an individual seeking solitude can sit and focus on their work or tasks needing to be done.
d. Meeting Spaces- Meeting spaces come in many different shapes and sizes to meet a range of needs. From Board Rooms and Conference Rooms, to Huddle Spaces and Collaborative Lounge areas, these spaces are all designed for different types of meetings. Some spaces are enclosed and some are open areas with tables and pull-up ottomans and chairs.
e. Lounge Areas- These areas are relaxed areas with cozy sofas and couches, coffee tables, pull-up tables and ottomans. These areas can be suited for a variety of activities including group meetings, breaks, or even focused thinking.
f. Break Out Areas- These areas allow for people to break away from their desk and sit down with a snack or lunch, meet with a team member and brainstorm new ideas, enjoy a cup of coffee and converse with others. Cafes, coffee bars and break rooms are a great breakout area.
5. Advanced Technology. How the office works is fundamentally the most important question to consider. Having convenient access to power, proper ports such as USB and HDMI, and internet is a must. Often, these necessities are available in some areas like the board room and a workstation, but not in all areas like a privacy booth or a breakout table.
Being able to cast or connect to a TV to present ideas or a presentation should be available in more areas than the conference room. Accessories like Power Towers conveniently located in high-use areas like lounges and lobbies are a great way to bring technology to areas that may be often overlooked.