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5 modern office and workspace trends

41% of the global workforce would consider switching jobs in the next year, with 55% noting that work environment would play a role in their decisions, according to a recent survey by Microsoft.  

Keeping your finger on the pulse of workplace design trends is paramount. They inform what modern workers want from their offices, based on their evolving needs. 

But with so much rapid change of late, it’s hard to know which office design trends are still in demand. Are Yurt-shaped meeting rooms and Google-inspired soft play areas a thing of the past? Have we said our final goodbyes to stuffy cubicles?  

We answer these questions by looking at current workplace trends. Discover why each trend is exploding and what the benefits are of incorporating them into your modern office design.

 1. Wellness Rooms

5% of HR leaders say inclusion is one of their five top priorities for 2022. Yet, one-in-four people do not feel valued at work and those who do feel included are in more senior roles, according to a new report on diversity and inclusion by the International Labour Organization (ILO). 

Businesses are looking to wellness rooms as one piece of the inclusivity puzzle. When it comes to this unique workplace design trend, we’re not just talking about a room filled with yoga mats and calm lighting. Wellness spaces should be tailored to the health and wellbeing requirements of your diverse workforce. This can include: 

  • Nursing rooms  
  • Prayer rooms 
  • Resting rooms 

The right amenities can make or break wellness spaces. For example, a nursing room for breastfeeding mothers would ideally have a recliner (as specified by HSE), a refrigerator for milk storage, a sink, plus access to Wi-Fi and reading materials.  

Lighting and decoration also need to be considered for this modern office design idea. Let’s say you’re designing a wellness room for people who suffer from migraines. The room should be decorated in a soothing style so the environment doesn’t worsen the occupant’s symptoms. 

2. Collaborative Layouts

Collaborative workspaces aren’t new, but the pandemic has fueled this workplace trend. Because so many people now work from home, what they want from a day in the office has changed – a space for collaboration to get back that sense of belonging and togetherness is vital.  

So, no, collaborative layouts aren’t going out of fashion any time soon. In fact, inventive ideas for this office design trend are on the rise. Especially when it comes to making the workspace fully customisable to people’s needs. 

To illustrate, we recently helped a client create collaborative workspaces by splitting its office floors horizontally and vertically. This resulted in “neighbourhoods” that could grow and shrink as required. Each neighbourhood had a similar setting; a quiet space, a meeting room and collaborative spaces. We also encouraged a cohesive yet flexible environment by sectioning areas using furniture rather than fixed partitions. 

This gave occupants freedom to mould collaborative spaces around their preferred working styles and moods. Why is this important? Most employees need a mixture of open and private spaces to balance the need for face-to-face communication with the need for recharging.  

3. Sustainable Offices

This impactful workplace design trend is here to stay. Because, sadly, the climate crisis isn’t going to disappear any time soon. Creating an eco-friendly office is a fantastic way to help protect our beautiful planet.  

You have lots of options when jumping on this office design trend, depending on your space and fit-out budget. For example, you could: 

  • Use sustainably-sourced furniture and decor 
  • Install water restricted taps in your kitchens and bathrooms 
  • Install a dual plumbing system to recycle water for toilet use 
  • Make better use of natural light using glass walls
  • Add interior insulation and seal gaps around windows and doors 
  • Use natural ventilation over air-conditioning units 
  • Add bicycle storage units and Active Travel facilities

 Discover more tips on making your workspace sustainable in our office fit-out guide 

A sustainable office will help you reduce your environmental impact and attract talent: over half (53%) of the UK’s workforce say sustainability is an important factor in choosing a company to work for, according to Anthesis’ recent study.  

Plus, it pays to have a greener office. According to Carbon Trust, cutting energy costs by 20% has the same effect on the bottom line as a 5% increase in sales. 

 4. Neurodiverse Workspaces 

Neurodiversity appreciates that everyone’s brains operate a little differently. Embracing this in the workplace means all your people can thrive, whether they have ADHD, dyslexia or autism.  

More and more businesses are looking to accommodate their neurodiverse teams with modern office designs that make them feel more comfortable. This brings out the best of their team’s exceptional talents, such as creative storytelling and pattern recognition.  

One of the most effective ways to realise this workplace trend is by offering a variety of settings for your team members. This can include breakout spaces for socialising, specialised rooms for relaxation and flexible cubicles for more focused work.  

It’s also good to consider how all the elements in your space, including your furniture, work as a whole. Do they create a reassuring sense of order? Is it easy for workers to orient themselves? Small details like these can have a real impact on neurodiverse minds. 

 5. Smart Offices

By 2025, the smart office global market size is projected to hit $57.05 billion. Proof that this workplace design trend should be on everyone’s radar. But what is a smart office? 

It’s an office that uses smart tech, such as the Internet of Things, to shape the environment around those who use it. Systems within the office like those controlling lighting, temperature and ventilation collect, share and communicate data, enabling adjustments to accommodate the needs of the people using the space.  

In this sense, smart offices improve the wellbeing of employees and visitors, creating healthier environments that are comfortable and dynamic. Smart offices can also drive down energy costs. In a global Quocrica study, 57% of the 260 organisations surveyed said they were investing in smart building technology because of the potential long-term cost savings.  

What should you consider?

If you’re exploring new modern office designs, starting your research here was a smart move. Now you know which workplace trends are worth taking seriously. But which one is right for your project?  

It all depends on the people occupying your space, the kind of culture you want to inspire, and what’s in store for your business’ future. Thinking about these things helps you picture what your ideal workspace should look like. Our top five office design trends will then fall naturally into your future office designs. To recap, they are: 

  1. Wellness rooms 
  2. Collaborative layouts 
  3. Sustainable offices 
  4. Neurodiverse workspaces 
  5. Smart offices 

 Need more inspiration? Pour yourself a cuppa and spend some time looking at our work. You’ll come away with plenty of exciting modern office design ideas 

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We’re passionate about inspirational workspaces, so we’re committed to exploring and sharing the latest thinking on workplace design with you.