What’s on the horizon for office design? How have the recent shifts in where and how we work affected workspace and workflow planning? What are the new trends that will set your workspace apart, create greater employee engagement, and increase productivity? What does office design 2023 hold for you?
Future Fitouts is your source for ideas and answers in this space. We are office design and fitout experts. We would like to speak with you about incorporating some of the latest design trends in your next office fitout project. Call us on 1300 368 461 or contact us online to request a proposal.
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Collaborative Spaces Refined
Open office plans that maximise opportunities for group work have been popular for a long time. Extensive home-based work in recent years has given planners a fresh view of how best to integrate the desirable aspects of collaborative spaces with the benefits of solo work or small groups working in enclosed or semi-private spaces.
The best answer in 2023 office design will be different for each workspace, and solutions are likely to be ongoing processes as priorities evolve. There is a fine balance between positive interactivity and workers’ often changing needs for quiet and focus.
The kind of work being done has a big impact. A sales engineer who needs to talk on the phone and attend online meetings much of the day, and a software engineer who needs to focus and concentrate silently for long periods of time, will both be most productive in fairly isolated workspaces – for entirely different reasons. However, many work roles can do well in a shared space with as-needed access to more private areas such as pods or traditional closed offices. A successful design takes all of this and more into consideration.
Active and Ergonomic Design
Workspaces that encourage movement and activity, and office furnishings designed to properly support and protect the body, are an ongoing trend in office design 2023. The idea of comfortable, properly designed furnishings has expanded to include such innovations as the bike chair and the treadmill desk. These may not be for every office, but they certainly show how health maintenance in the office has come to the forefront of design considerations.
Adjustable height sit-stand desk platforms are a well-tested practical solution to the problem of sitting all day – workers can raise and lower them easily throughout the workday to accommodate different projects and their wish to sit or stand at any moment. Something as simple as having more than one design of ergonomic office chair available can have great results – what is properly supportive and comfortable for one individual may not be for another.
An active office that invites and rewards movement can come naturally from an open collaborative space. This goes beyond walking to the printer once in a while. In a well-planned active office, for example, workers can discover the benefits of using pleasant, comfortable smaller semi-enclosed spaces for in-person work with their colleagues rather than making a conference call from their respective desks. Over the course of a typical year, even a modest change like this can have a significant, measurable positive impact on health for the whole staff.
Flexible Spaces for Flexible Work
In a modern office, workspace needs may change on a daily basis, as working groups and projects evolve, and home-working employees come into the office for a day or a week at a time.
It’s often important to include flex desks – well-equipped standard desks that are not assigned to a particular worker, but can be used by anyone in the office for the workday. If space or other considerations make this a challenge, an alternative is to designate any location in the office that has extra table space as a flex area – and upgrade it if needed with good chairs, extra power outlets, and a dedicated Wi-Fi antenna.
Making the Office More Like Home
Softening the look of the workspace is a new trend in office design 2023 – based on the preferences of workers returning from extended periods of home-based work. Wood flooring and wall treatments, softer colours, warm lighting, and designating more personalized space with such things as half-height partitions and smoked glass dividers are successful solutions.
To the extent possible, it is important to bring in natural light, by changing window treatments or possibly by moving furniture that may block windows. If indoor lighting is a fluorescent type, bulbs with warmer, more natural colour are widely available. These are mostly optical changes, but they set a new tone that boosts employee morale. A relaxed, comfortable workforce is motivated and productive.
Technology needs have always expanded, and can be expected to continue to do so.
Planning for office refits should include an examination of how well the company’s basic technology needs are being met, for today and tomorrow. Do workers have enough power outlets for computers, other electronics, and task lighting, without running extension cords or using multi-plug adapters? Is Wi-Fi strong and reliable in all parts of the office? Are group video calls well-supported with equipment and connectivity? The last item has become much more relevant and common as many workers return to mixed-presence offices.
In some offices it may be a requirement to provide for internal video meeting capability, so that all workers don’t have to be present in a conference room that may not be large enough to provide sufficient personal distancing to make them all feel safe and comfortable.
Improving the Break Room
Often overlooked in office renovation schemes, the break room should be more than a place to microwave lunch. Depending on available resources, anything from a quieter refrigerator to more attractive paint and a couple of pleasant photos on the wall can be great upgrades. This is especially true if workers are discouraged from eating at their desks and the office is not large enough to have a separate lunchroom – a surprising amount of time will then be spent in and out of the break room, so any positive changes will have an outsized effect.
As a new aspect to 2023 office design, workers returning from a home-based work environment have become used to more comfort in the activities that support their work, so they’ll be pleased to find improvements in the break room.
Into the Future
These and many more are some of the considerations for office design 2023 – now and tomorrow. Future Fitout is your partner for a successful office refit and renovation. We’re one of the most experienced and successful leaders in office fitout and office renovations Brisbane has to offer. We would like to speak with you about your next project. Call us on 1300 368 461 or request a proposal online.