Office design tips: top trends in designing flexible, forward-looking workplaces

The amplified outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic across the globe has shifted work culture that has transcended commercial space design to focus on employee safety and well-being, creating an emerging need of new-age workplace design concepts. The real challenge for a commercial interior designer is to create spaces that retain the essence of collaboration and social belonging while adapting to new security parameters.

The need to create offices where employees want to come back, where memories linger and that feels like a second home is growing like never before. Brainstorming sessions, product launches, sleepless nights, or celebrating success with the team – office designs these days aren’t just about cubicles or boxed stations, it’s about creating reinvigorated spaces that fuel life. innovation and collaboration.

What defines the future of work? What are the trends that we will see dominate in the workplace in the years to come? It’s impossible to know precisely what tomorrow’s work environment will look like, but trends in workplace design can help us understand what could happen and how it could affect our organizations.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Kunal Sharma, Founder and CEO of Flipspaces, revealed the top design trends for flexible and future-ready workplaces:

1. Collaborative spaces and technology-enabled spaces

The dynamic job roles and burgeoning work queues of new-age businesses have created an emerging trend of designing collaborative spaces in which a single individual can be absorbed in multiple tasks and multiple meetings at once. Employees now want to feel safe about the workspaces they currently work in, but at the same time, they also feel like they’re in a more collaborative and open environment that promotes productivity and culture.

Generation Z are referred to as “Digital Natives” because they were born out of speech and breathing technology. With this exposure, they are more aware and lead their routines with technology. Armed with this knowledge, companies must ensure that their workspaces are now designed with technology that promotes innovation, collaboration, rest areas for employees, spaces for virtual meetings (Zoom/Google Meets) as well as new privacy modules and quiet zones.

2. Focus on light and light sources

Light and light sources play a crucial role in the experience of people working in commercial spaces. Especially when it comes to designing offices, it is always advisable to provide enough light in the interiors. Here, you may need to make distinctions between the type of lighting that would suit the space – such as general/ambient lighting, task lighting, accent lighting, etc. Not knowing if it’s light or dark outside often leads to a stuffy and claustrophobic work atmosphere. It is therefore important to focus on natural light sources as much as possible when designing a commercial space.

3. Designs to improve employee retention and productivity

With the onset of the pandemic, this had posed some questions as to what the new workspaces would look like once life returned to normal. Although we have seen some innovative working environments emerge, such as the hybrid working model, companies must now adapt to an even more flexible working culture, while trying to maintain and improve the productivity of their workforce. -work. With new briefs companies are now issuing to interior designers for the design and construction of future commercial workspaces; you have to look forward with an overview of your workforce and with a new design perspective.

Considering that the country’s workforce over the next couple of years would be predominantly made up of Millennials and Gen Z, companies must now also look at retention as well as seek to tap into local talent and Build a growth-oriented team rich in functional skills. the roles. Incorporating natural elements into commercial interiors allows your employees to work in a comfortable and invigorating environment. This makes them genuinely motivated to come to work and engage better. When your employee engagement is high, you don’t have to worry about retaining talent within your organization.

Highlighting three workplace design trends that highlight the important elements that make up an “ideal” future work environment, namely adaptive, collaborative and healthy workspaces, Uttamaditya, CEO and Founder of U&D Interiors I, listed the top design trends that can help you stay ahead:

1. The rise of remote work.

2. The need for flexibility and adaptability.

3. The importance of collaboration.

4. The rise of artificial intelligence and automation.

5. The importance of data-driven decision making

6. Increased demand for data privacy.

7. The need to be able to generate quick and effective solutions.

He said, “A new era of ‘work’ has arrived, sooner than expected. Designers have a huge role to play in shaping the future of work. Covid-19 has amplified the discussion about what the future of work entails. We are entering an era where people cannot simply find a job, but rather must find their meaning and their passion. »

Talking about the top design trends to watch out for, he said, “Designers are always keeping an eye out for the latest trends in order to stay one step ahead.” He shared some of the top design trends that will shape the future of work

1. Unique Items – Unique and one-of-a-kind items have become much more common as people want to express their individuality. The brands offer high quality products at an affordable price for customers who want to make a statement with their purchases. To keep up with the latest trend, manufacturers need to be aware of how this new way of buying is changing the way products are sold.

2. Worker Satisfaction – To achieve maximum efficiency and maximize productivity, employers need to pay attention to what makes their employees happy at work. If workers feel unappreciated or undervalued, their overall happiness will suffer. It is important to determine whether workers are satisfied with their salary, benefits, hours worked per week, growth opportunities and flexibility. Providing these factors ensures higher levels of worker satisfaction which, in turn, results in better production results

A growing trend is experience design, which involves designing products, services, and environments with user needs and preferences in mind. Uttamaditya said, “This approach puts the user at the center of the design process and results in products and services that are more user-friendly and enjoyable to use. It also has a positive impact on businesses, as they benefit from improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. For this reason, it’s no surprise that organizations around the world are beginning to embrace experience design as a way to improve their corporate culture and better connect with their customers.”

He added, “With so many organizations using different approaches to experience design, companies need to determine which type of experience design best suits their goals for employees and customers. There are four main types of experience design: passive (the user experiences a product or service without any interaction), interactive (the user actively participates in creating or modifying something), generative (the product can generate new content itself) and Adaptive (a digital interface automatically adjusts based on the given input).

As the lines between our personal and professional lives continue to blur, there is a growing need for products and services that can integrate seamlessly into our daily lives. The popularity of subscription models will continue to grow as they offer more flexibility and convenience.

Uttamaditya said, “AI and automation will play an important role in increasing efficiency and productivity, while allowing employees to focus on higher value tasks. Employees who have successfully transitioned from one industry to another have developed critical skills including adaptability, creativity and communication. Collaboration between industries is essential; it’s no longer about what your business does, it’s about how you do it.

Betty K. Park