With the New Year here, we talk to Beth Harrison, Head of Sales for Sketch Studios to get an industry insiders’ predictions on workplace trends for the year ahead.
The way we work has changed drastically over the last few years; the traditional office has been replaced by open and collaborative spaces that facilitate innovation, sharing and movement. Research around the world has shown that an integrated approach to employee wellbeing brings about greater productivity and in turn profitability. As such over the last few years buzz words such as ‘activity based working’ has gone from being a potential fad to serious strategic workplace design approach. Many employers are now creating people lead working environments that focus on supporting employee wellbeingby offering a variety of different settings to work in and the flexibility to do so. Companies are uncovering detailed insight into their business culture and this knowledge of their people and how to drive productivity will naturally lead to the continued creation of better working environments that people really want to work in.
As we look ahead to 2018, these are the trends that will shape the working environment.
The benefits of agile working are now well known, empowering employees to work where and how they choose with maximum flexibility has optimised performance. To get the best out of these new ways of working, 2018 will see companies using real time data to ensure space is being used effectively throughout, this monitoring combined with flexible design that incorporates multipurpose pieces of furniture will ensure the constant evolution of the office space with the ability to respond to change in a much quicker time scale.
It’s no secret technology is changing at a rapid pace, and seeing as we spend on average 30% of our lives at work, it makes sense that technology supports our working environments. he Internet of Things is drastically shaping the future of work. In the next year, we will see a growing number of smart buildings such as The Edge, in Amsterdam, commercial buildings are becoming living organisms that autonomously absorb and decipher the data connected to real time sensors and control mechanisms and adjust systems accordingly, reaching new levels of performance and efficiency never before seen.
This has been a growing trend driven by the increasing number of millennials in the work place and shows no sign of stopping. Blurring the lines between home and work has seen many office spaces take on a relaxed, young eclectic vibe, with assorted pieces of furniture found previously in residential spaces. This trend will continue to evolve in 2018 and we will see the eclectic aesthetic grow into a more grown up and polished version of what we have seen in 2017. There will be a strong focus on incorporating luxury residential trends such as the use of mixed metal finishes and quality textiles, creating spaces that are both relaxed and luxurious.
Commercial furniture manufacturers will continue to expand their ranges of residential-style pieces that offer flexibility whilst simultaneously ensuring high quality materials and commercial durability.
As wellbeing becomes more prevalent the next stage is to see more developers focusing on standards as WELL Building accreditations. Certifications such as these look into factors such as air, water and light quality and aim to improve human health and wellbeing throughout the built environment.
As with any trend its always essential to ensure it makes sense for your business and the holidays provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on the year that was, identify any areas you would like to improve on and set some achievable goals.