Workplace Design

4 Big Ways Office Design is Changing in 2016

One of the ways office design is changing is through unassigned seating.
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Studies show that comfortable workspaces increase productivity as much as 16% and can improve job satisfaction among employees up to 24%. But what makes a comfortable work environment?

Modern office design is in a state of transition as millennials move into leadership roles and company culture shifts between generations. Below are some common trends we are seeing in office design.

  1. Open workstations

  2. One of the biggest trends in modern office design involves the shift from isolated workstations to more open layouts that promote collaboration among employees. Floors are opening up and trendy multi-functional workstations are replacing the rigid rows of cubicles we’ve seen in the past. One challenge designers face when creating an open plan office design is the balance between flexibility and privacy. Sound masking systems are one great solution that can allow office workers to enjoy the freedom of flexible open space while maintaining quiet workstations that promote focus and productivity.
  3. Unassigned, diverse seating

  4. Business leaders are beginning to accept the idea that employees don’t have to be sitting silently at their desks with their heads down to be productive. In fact, more and more office managers are finding that their employees don’t necessarily have to be at individual desks at all. Multipurpose stations are popping up in offices everywhere as alternative workspaces for employees to complete their tasks. These include a variety of seating types: couches, lounge chairs, round tables, floor cushions, even hanging pod chairs. Of course, some workers still prefer the standard cubicle or open desk, but it’s the ability to choose that counts.
  5. Smaller personal areas

  6. Every year, companies in the U.S. purchase as many as 3 million desks and 16.5 million chairs. However, personal workspaces seem to be shrinking. This is partly because the technology we’re using is getting smaller. Flat-screen monitors, small laptops, and tablets require shallower work surfaces. This allows us to use our workspace more efficiently.
  7. Fewer walls and more natural light

  8. A study revealed that employees in offices with windows obtained 173% more white light exposure within working hours and slept a median of 46 more minutes per night than employees without access to windows. These employees were also more productive than their non-window-facing counterparts. Daylight has had a proven positive effect on alertness and it significantly minimizes eyestrain and headaches.

What do you think of these current trends in modern office design? Leave your feedback in the comments section and add any other layout changes your office is making to boost productivity.

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