5 Office Design Trends

Office design and the way we use the office has changed drastically over the past few years. Design trends like hybrid workspaces, nature-inspired office design and flexible furnishings have become the norm for many offices.  

As we move into 2024, businesses are now approaching their work models in different ways. We predict office design to move towards providing more innovative ways of working, with the importance of creating comfortable and inspiring spaces for employees. Here we list our top design trends for 2024.

Design for Retreat

More consideration is being taken to account for the different ways people utilise their working environment. Many businesses are starting to see the benefits of incorporating a retreat area in their office design. By giving staff a space to relax and recharge, businesses essentially optimise productivity, as employees have the space to step away from their desk and take a moment to reenergise, improving their motivation, creativity and overall job satisfaction.

Retreat spaces are informal and to be effective, they require acoustic and lighting considerations. The retreat space is not about working, it’s about reflecting in a space that is different to the rest of the office. These spaces can take shape in a quiet corner or room, which is furnished in a different style to the direct office.

Include Focus Spaces

We predict the next phase of workplace design will focus strongly on creating areas that minimise distractions and allow for focused work. Studies have shown that noise dissatisfaction has the strongest correlation to low output. In a recent report by Skanska and JLL, 80% of office workers said their productivity was dependent on if they had a quiet and private space to work. This is especially true for neurodiverse people, who have greater sensitivity to sensory stimuli. The incorporation of ‘focus’ spaces will ensure all staff have the appropriate workspaces for productivity. Focus spaces can take shape through design elements like office pods and booths, which provide staff the opportunity to work in a space with minimal distractions.

Incorporate Smart Tech

2023 was a monumental year in the world of AI. Recent stats by the Government indicates that AI adoption across the UK could rise to 22.7% for all businesses by 2025, and 35.8% by 2040.

The incorporation of AI and smart technology in office design has already started to deliver significant cost saving and sustainability gains for businesses. JLL’s 2023 survey estimates that 45% of occupiers plan to adopt energy and emissions management technology. Thus, we will continue to see the incorporation of smart building systems which can optimise energy consumption based on occupancy and usage patterns.

Smart technology will also enhance employee experience, as AI-driven systems can learn employee preferences for lighting, temperature, and desk arrangements, providing a more customised experience. Companies are already experiencing the benefits of human-centric smart lighting (HCL), a system that creates light that mimics natural daylight. Such systems support employee mental health, concentration and overall work performance.

Designing for Accessibility

We predict accessibility to be a focal point for 2024 workplace design. It is estimated that 20% of people are neurodivergent and in recent years, design considerations have been made for individuals who have neurodiverse tendencies. The reason why businesses are being encouraged to adopt a neurodiverse approach to office design is the overarching view that those that create a balanced, inclusive workspace will see a positive impact on staff wellbeing and productivity.

A neurodiverse workplace design has many components and considers the workplace through all five senses. Designing a workplace which supports neurodiverse workers can be achieved by making considerate, intelligent changes, as the types of spaces don’t necessarily need to be different to accommodate neurodivergent individuals. Group collaboration spaces, adjustable lighting and sound controls, social areas, tech-free zones and acoustically sound meeting rooms are some of the many design techniques that can be incorporated to establish an inclusive workspace.

Provide Amenities

In recent years workplace design has transformed its focus to optimising staff productivity. It’s no secret that professionals today struggle to find work-life balance. Companies are now investing in  amenities to counteract this and fight employee burnout. Many modern offices are now being designed to incorporate a built-in fitness centre where staff can work out, socialise and reduce stress. Additional modern office amenities include relaxation rooms, games rooms and even drop-in day-care. These amenities have the dual benefit of encouraging employees to come into the office.

Companies are now well-versed in flexibility and hybrid-working. Working from home has taught people the importance of comfort, serenity and relaxing spaces while carrying out work duties. 2024 will see businesses invest in the quality of their spaces which will in turn affect the quality of the time spent in the office.

If you have any questions about our design trends, or would like to speak to a workplace consultant, contact one of our specialists.