Key Office Trends for 2014

New office trends are taking the emphasis off the items found in offices and catering more for the needs of people.

Collaboration and Accessibility

The corner office is no longer the pinnacle achievement. Employees find it out of touch and isolating, and the same concept applies to cubicles. How your workspace is designed says a lot about your business, how your team works, and is also an extension of your brand. Choosing an open-plan, more accessible office style gives greater potential to collaboration and ‘open minds.’

Flexibility and Sustainability

Flexibility is a crucial element in office space, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. Consideration should be given to striking a balance between complete openness and the option of using use a more intimate area for one-to-one meetings. This will create a more sustainable office space for your business.

The Gen Y Workforce

It is predicted by 2020, employment will be dominated by Generation Y, who will comprise 42 per cent of the workforce. As a cohort that excels in multi-tasking and multi-channeling, organisations will need to re-think how they communicate and connect with these employees.

Gen Y workers value authenticity and resonate with work environments that place greater significance on people as opposed to furniture. With the predicted high employer turnover for Gen Y, and associated costs for companies, it’s worth investing time into designing your office to reflect your values. In turn, this will attract the right team and increase the likelihood of longer service. With younger staff, expect a trend toward activity-based working, which allows movement between types of spaces.

The Dynamic Office

Today’s work culture is becoming increasingly diverse, as employees no longer have to be in the office to get the job done. Consequently, there will be a trend toward a workplace that can be configured to specific work needs. The worker who only sometimes comes into the office will be able to work comfortably using a pop-up work desk, which can be stored with their personal files and belongings in their absence. There will be an improved sense of belonging for all staff as they can share the workspace according to their needs.

Office trends are changing considerably to suit the worker demographic. To maximise workplace efficiency and retain quality staff, organisations need to remain aware of these changes to retain high quality staff.

by Ruth Newman