Although office design trends are nowhere near as fickle as their home decor counterparts, once every few years a seismic shift will occur that changes the game completely. First it was cubicles, allowing people to feel like they had an office of their own whilst still retaining a sense of community. Now, it’s all about the open office – all light and airiness – mimicking the style of the trendiest contemporary design spaces. However, in my opinion, this won’t last for long. And here’s why.
The Fall of the Open Office
In my opinion the open office is unsustainable. Why? Because no matter what anybody says, it hampers productivity.
Just imagine it, you’re sat in your pod of desks with five other employees, grinding away at a task you really need to get done. Suddenly, one of your colleagues from across the desk pops up and asks for your help with another project that also needs to be completed as a matter of urgency! The open office creates an environment where everyone is multitasking. No matter how much you want, or need to, you cannot just sit down and get your list of tasks done.
Future Office Design
If not the open office then, what’s a better alternative? Well in my opinion, the next big thing is going to be green offices! Not green in color though, green as in sustainable! Future workers are going to be a lot more demanding than previous generations on what companies do to tackle climate change. This means one of the key factors they will use when deciding where they want to work will be the sustainability of a company.
The Green Office
But what will this mean for future office design? One of the main things we will see is companies making their office space feature more plants. The benefits of greenery for productivity and air quality have been well documented, making this a simple yet effective step forward in office design.
Working From Home
Another change? Employers will be looking to cut down on the amount of gas, electricity and water they are using. How can they do this? By making you work less at the office! Working from home will be an increasingly normal part of your weekly routine. As such, dedicating space to a home office will become more important than ever.
Making It Feel Like Home
For the time you are in the office, you can look forward to your work environment becoming a home away from home. Think break rooms, game rooms and even using a sofa as your desk. Yes, some companies use these design ideas already, but this is going to become the norm in the next few years. We just have to be careful that we aren’t caught falling asleep on the job!
While the open office has been a loyal servant to organizations for the past decade, its reign as the ‘office design king’ is coming to an end, and I think we will be better for it. I for one can’t wait to see plants at the desk becoming more common, and working for greener companies in an office that feels like it could be used as a second home! Who’s with me?