As we step into 2023, companies worldwide are still trying to figure out what way of working will be best for them. Businesses are switching from the traditional office-first, 9-5 structure to a more flexible working model, with hybrid working on the rise as this offers employees a better work-life balance. They are more able to develop a healthy relationship between their personal and professional lives in this new work situation.
According to different research, around three quarters of businesses have switched to a hybrid working model as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, with employees mostly required to come to the office 3-4 days a week. But surprisingly 63% of these respondents claim that their companies have not made any significant changes to their workplaces to adapt it to this new way of working. They have maintained the same setup now that they had pre-pandemic, which means that large parts of the workplace are just sitting idle on the days that employees aren’t in the office.
So, what does the future of the workplace look like? Here are a few office furniture design trends to keep an eye on for 2023:
Flexible modular workspaces
The transient workforce has increased the need for flexible and easily adaptable workspaces. As more people work remotely, there will be a need for more flexible workspace options. And with flexible work environments comes modular furniture with products that can easily be moved around and re-configured to fit the needs of each individual workspace, or that can be expanded or be reduced as your workforce changes.
By definition, modular means a self-contained furniture item that can be combined or interchanged with others like it to create different shapes or designs. In the office, modular furniture can be interchanged and combined to create the layout desired for your team. From mobile tables, to multi-purpose chairs, flexible meeting spaces to mobile screens and whiteboards, all these multi-functional pieces can be used to shape and re-shape the workspace.
Creating spaces throughout your office to accommodate the various needs of your team is a modern office design trend that companies should include. When an employee comes into the office, they need the right environment to complete their tasks for the day. Many choose in-office days as a time of collaboration. For some this may mean large, open workspaces. For others, this might look like a meeting booth for project alignment. Other employees come to the office to complete focused work.
Employees in these multi-functional areas don't have to remain at a certain workstation or location, allowing for greater movement throughout the space and increased utilisation. Ensuring that a workplace design is not just aesthetically pleasing but also entirely practical and useful is crucial to creating enduring spaces. Each and every piece of furniture in your office should have a clear purpose. These spaces will also need to be designed with acoustics in mind so that they can be used for everything from focused work, to small group meetings and large presentations.
The rise of the acoustic hub
Many employees need some privacy to participate in work meetings or video calls because the hybrid office model has been adopted. Depending on the size and requirements of the team, the acoustic hub offers a variety of alternatives. For instance businesses could put up smaller phone booths for single person use or multi-person hubs that can accommodate small groups of people. By using these space-saving ideas, you may create an additional area where employees can work without noise or distractions.
It is increasingly important for employers to be able to create different zones for different types of work and each has a different acoustic requirement. Silen acoustic hubs from Dams are a multiple design-award winning solution and are the most adaptable and sustainable hubs available today. With world-record sound reduction and unbeatable quality, Silen acoustic hubs are the best in the market.
Natural, sustainable elements
Employees want a workplace that is designed well - not only for function but also to be aesthetically pleasing. Sustainability and timeless-design go hand in hand. By selecting sustainable products, businesses can not only extend the lifespan of the workspace, but can also actively contribute to improving the planet. Flexibility is another benefit of a sustainable workplace since it encourages innovation and the search for money-saving and energy-saving solutions.
Simple natural aspects, such as having lots of plants and employing sustainable materials for furniture and architectural components, can greatly enhance a workplace's timeless appeal. Additionally, a growing trend in many offices is adding artwork, as recent surveys have highlighted that having interesting and visually striking art in the workplace improves their wellbeing. And employee wellbeing is definitely an issue businesses who care about recruitment and retention should be aware of.
Design for employee wellbeing
The workplace is changing, and office design is changing with it. How businesses use their office space has evolved as a result of the advent of hybrid work. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the value of flexible work settings that encourage collaboration and concentration simultaneously. If employers want to have their teams feel excited about coming to the office, they have to offer something beyond the comfort and convenience they already have at home.
Hybrid work environments provide new ways for employees to collaborate productively, but businesses must intentionally create those opportunities. Gone are the days of traditional, stuffy offices. In their place are flexible workspaces, modular furniture, biophilic design, and connected technology that allows businesses to create an environment that meets the needs of their employees, with a greater focus on improving employee wellbeing and productivity.