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.
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.
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.
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.