The New Corporate Environment
Studies have indicated that a happier, healthier employee is far more productive. The way we design and build office and corporate spaces in 2018 will show a great emphasis on keeping employees feeling well. The trends in office design are about creating spaces where employees will feel comfortable and nurtured. If you’re considering renovating or moving office spaces or opening a corporate office, you may want to think about some of the new philosophies in office and corporate design.
Technological and cultural changes in the workplace have promoted a more collaborative approach. Therefore, the office environment has also evolved to include areas and designated spaces for co-working and collaboration. These spaces aren’t as formal as the traditional conference room, but more inviting and comfortable areas for small groups to come together for informal collaboration. These breakout spaces are more dynamic and flexible with movable parts and pieces allowing to accommodate different groups.
Activity Based Working (ABW)
Along the same lines as the collaboration areas described above, the Activity Based Working (ABW) philosophy is the overall picture of how work is performed throughout the office environment. The idea of the ABW is providing areas designated for specific types of work activity. For instance, an office that has embraced the ABW philosophy will have collaboration spaces, quiet nooks, private offices, conference rooms and data centers where each designated area is designed for optimal performance of each activity.
There has been an increase in environmental consciousness in the design and building industry for several years. The new movement introduced by The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is an all-encompassing focus on the wellbeing of a building’s occupant’s comfort. While the IWBI certification does not isolate corporate offices specifically, it’s requirements fit well into the workplace environment. The WELL certification scores areas including air quality, water quality, fitness, and light among other things. Office environments are starting to implement design features such as standing desks, live walls, and gyms to promote overall mental and physical wellness of its employees.
The leading office design trends suggest a clear focus on the well-being of employees. Companies are embracing the idea that employees are healthier, happier and more productive when they feel connected to the outside, natural world. Corporate environments are introducing elements of nature and ample natural light throughout their spaces. Biophilic Design brings the outside in through living greenery features, water features, rooftop gardens, and well thought out windows. Any element of nature whether small or grand can encourage a happier healthier environment for employees.
The goal of any well-planned office should provide an environment that encourages thought, success and comfort. The trends of 2018 are not only about good design, but also about how a space effects the people who use it every day.
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