Over the years, we’ve seen some dramatic shifts in offices around the world. From the cubicle craze in the 80’s to the tech-boom of the early 2000’s, you’d think you’ve seen it all. Here are Henriksen/Butler’s top five predictions for 2017.
This has been a steadily growing trend over the past few years. Employees are becoming less and less siloed as they further interface in groups. While individual work is still important, employees should also expect to work very closely with a variety of cross-functional teams. More and more organizations are ditching individual work areas for collaborative spaces. Space previously occupied by personal desks is now converted into common area with a flexible furniture that serves a variety of work needs. This trend takes the term “co-worker” to a new level.
2. Workplace Wellbeing
In this trend, Workplace Wellbeing can be defined by three elements: People, space, and tools.
People–The workplace ecosystem is much more humanistic than ever before. Employee needs are now primary considerations in workplace design. We see examples of “people first” design considerations in offices that offer in-house kitchens, gyms, gaming areas, and more. Today’s employees need to feel like they belong within the organization for them to truly thrive; this is a huge factor in attraction and retention.
Space– Employees learn, work and engage their creativity in many different ways. Organizations are seeking to provide a variety of flexible working environments to support these complex, improvisational needs. Spaces for privacy and contemplation, group work, socializing, connecting to technology, even areas to bring entire companies together – these are all proving critical in today’s office.
Tools –The Workplace Wellbeing trend is really the first time we’re seeing a truly holistic approach to the work environment, and tools are no exception. Tools can be loosely defined as everything from technology to ergonomic seating - anything an employee uses to accomplish their work tasks. Providing employees with the best software, resources, and desk accommodations is critical to workplace morale and efficiency. Check out the variety of work settings and ergonomic tools featured in Henriksen/Butler’s Zappos project.
3. Outdoors Goes Indoors
One of the most unique trend predictions for 2017 is an increase in the incorporation of nature in the workplace. While this trend has evolved dramatically over time, new technologies are making natural workplace designs more affordable and manageable for any size organization. According to workplace research, greenery and sunlight in the office can increase memory and attention span by 20%. The same research also determined that it can increase creativity by 15%. To check out a great example of a vertical garden in the office, look at the entrance to Vista Outdoor’s lobby. This vertical garden custom designed by Method Studio provides an organic and natural expression of Vista's company values.
4. Technology Meets Furniture
A more obvious culture shift over the years has been the development of computers. For years since the mass introduction of computers into the office, technology and furniture have been seen as completely separate entities. As of recent, Interior Designer and IT/Facilities roles are finally taking a holistic look at the two - and so are the furniture manufacturers. For 2017, you can expect to see a more thorough integration of video conferencing and other tech tasks into space planning. Instead of CTO’s retrofitting all the cables and cords into a conference room, these furniture pieces will be made with technology in mind. Imagine a world where you walk into a meeting and all of the technology instantly works - it seems too good to be true, but we anticipate that it won’t be for long. To see a cutting-edge approach to tech integration, check out DIRTT's application at Deseret Digital Media.
5. War for Talent
According to a recent Forbes article, the average tenure for all U.S. employees is only 4.6 years. The average tenure for the Millennial generation is even less, at about two years. The majority of employees today are frequently open to and applying for other jobs while currently employed. So how do employer’s stay on their toes for 2017? Creativity and flexibility are the answers. Some companies boast unlimited time off from work or offer a full-service kitchen to their employees, while others host their very own gym in the office. Flexibility in terms of everything from schedules to office attire are on the list of considerable factors for today’s workforce; employers need to be aware of what their employees’ options are to keep the best talent. To check out an example of a deluxe office eatery, click here.