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GIO Looks at Workplace Design Trends in 2016

Paintwood tile
Rustic elements with colorful finishes are a 2016 workplace design trend.

Late in the first decade of our current century, major dot-com’s like Google and Facebook began to influence how office environments are designed. Since then, we’ve been witnessing the gradual death of the cubicle farm and the birth of shared workspaces that encourage networking, creativity, and collaboration. But what else is happening in office design? Here’s a look at some of the top work design trends in 2016.

Flexible Workspaces
Traditional designs with permanent layouts are giving way to flex spaces with modular components that that can be mixed, stacked and moved around. The needs of today’s work landscape are dynamic and ever-changing, with modern workspace design eschewing rules-based planning in favor of using clever re-configureable elements.

Designated Lounge Areas
The extreme opposite of the rigid work station, designated lounge areas  are now included in most new workplace designs. Wireless technology that is lighter and more powerful than ever has set us free, and  quite simply, these more laid-back lounge areas stimulate relaxed collaboration and make work more enjoyable.

Personal Space
While the open plan has many advantages, it may not be for everyone, or the best solution at all times. Workspace designers now look for ways to provide quiet personal space around the office, from updated cubicles to cocoon-like furnishings with integrated technology.

Community Tables
Gone are the days when communal tables were relegated to cafeterias and beer halls; the community table today reflects a cultural shift. As people have been looking for more interaction in public settings, these shared tables have been making an appearance in restaurants and hotels for some time. Today, the community table has emerged as a relevant feature of the evolving workplace.

Dressed Up Rustic
While salvaged or reclaimed wood looks made their way from coffee shops and restaurants to well-designed workplaces a few years ago, designers are now dressing up those rustic touches with colorful finishes for more modern looks.

GIO Looks at Office Design: Nurturing the Ways Tech Employees Think, Work and Play

Cubicle Farm
The Dreaded Cubicle Farm

Innovative and inspired workspace design is prized by tech companies of all sizes. Unlike most corporate offices, with their beige walls, florescent lighting and the dreaded cubical farm, tech companies want (and need) to be cool, offering their creative employees colorful and conducive workspaces, in addition to a laundry list of amenities ranging from arcades to micro-kitchens and kegerators.

Though ultra-cool office spaces are in part inspired by companies like Google, they’re also a reflection of the industry’s culture in general, which is often influenced by where they are located. These spaces are viewed as more than just offices; they are experiences:  fun, learning environments for employees that favor both diversity and flexibility. New tech ventures are committed to collaboration and co-learning – and office spaces must be designed to nurture the ways employees think, work and play.

The big guys can easily afford extravagant design elements and over-the-top perks that will attract the brightest and the best and foster the right vibe, but you don’t have to have the deep pockets of Google or Facebook to attract talent and inspire your team with a creative and well designed space. Here are some the essential elements of a well-designed tech office that are achievable even with constraints of physical size or budget:

1. Collaborative workspaces that create a broader sense of community and promote innovation

2. Informal lounge areas with plush sofas and chairs to inspire interaction

3. Multipurpose spaces that promote uninhibited creativity

4. Privacy pods or enclosed spaces that allow employees to have confidential meetings

5. Highlight successful products and achievements that reflect and foster the company culture

6. Custom art to communicate values and positively connect people with their environment

7. Flexible, movable furnishings and space dividers that allow people to sit and work together in their preferred configurations

8. Last, but not least, don’t forget the kegerator!

See some inspiring  office designs on our Pinterest board!

Photo Credit: Click on image to view source.

GIO brings you a carefully curated selection of tile and stone products developed expressly for your commercial design projects. Our looks cover a range of styles to transform commercial spaces. From retail and restaurants to hospitals and hospitality, we’ve assembled an assortment of collections in styles befitting the gamut of spaces you may be called to design.

Office Design Trends: GIO Looks at the Changing Work Environment

Work environments are changing–and those who design and furnish offices are striving to keep pace. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a major evolution in office space design as companies migrate toward more open, flexible, and communicative workspaces.

As designers develop solutions that reflect the needs of the modern day workforce, we’re seeing trends that foster spontaneous collaboration, mobility, reconfiguration, and more. Here are 5 cutting edge office design trends that are transforming work as we know it.

1. Diversity in the Open Office

The open-plan office has come a long way since its beginnings: cubicles are out and shared desks, hot-desk pods and lounge seating areas are key furnishings and design trends that foster and encourage collaboration. The cutting edge open office of today offers numerous configurations of collaborative space, community space and private space that make it easy for workers to tailor their workplace to their liking.

Noise management is the single most important consideration of any collaborative space. Proper spacing between workstations, intelligent placement and use of noise absorbing materials and dividers, and integration of spaces for private work are keys to a successful open office plan. Interruptions and noise can kill productivity and are the number one complaint of employees in open workplaces. It’s important to have diverse spaces–make sure you have adequate space for employees to work alone or have some quiet time when desired.

2. Style and Culture

We’re seeing residential and hospitality design influencing the more informal areas of an office, such as a lounge or a break area. And boring colors are out–studies show that certain colors like red and orange stimulate productivity, so get ready for some colors and fun patterns in offices!

Research also shows the more extra facilities an employer offers, the greater chance staff will find the workplace an attractive office. Competition for talent is high, and employers are luring the cream of the crop with enticing extras such as communal kitchens, cafes, sleeping pods and yoga rooms.

3. Bringing the Outdoors In

People work better when they don’t feel like they are cooped up inside all day. Spending time around greenery can improve concentration, boost creativity and increase attention span.

4. Home for Events

Creating spaces within an office environment to hold events and engage with clients and collaborators is becoming important. Bringing the industry to your workplace is a good way for a business to go about making a mark in its sector. We’re seeing more offices designed with spaces for events, exhibitions, team meetings or industry lectures.

5. Authenticity

There are no set trends when it comes to workplace interiors–except authenticity. People prefer being in heritage buildings to traditional generic office buildings which can often feel fake and contrived. Layers, textures and heritage are what’s in for office interiors.

Look to GIO for on-trend, sophisticated tile and stone products that cover a range of styles to transform commercial spaces. From retail and restaurants to hospitals and hospitality we’ve assembled an assortment of collections in styles befitting the gamut of spaces you may be called to design.