It is that time of year again! Queue the Christmas music, mince pies crackers. The lead up to the Christmas break is always a busy one for us here at aci. However, this time does give us a chance to reflect on the office design trends we have seen come into play in the past year, as well as make our predictions for what we believe will be the main office design trends for the year ahead, in this case, 2019.
Last year, we made a few predictions about the trends we will see come into play during 2018, and whilst we were right on most of them, we did make a prediction about us having to install more spaces for business to incorporate different pieces of artificial intelligence pieces into their offies. The reality of this is that this just didn’t happen. However, a lot more of our clients started to decrease the number of permanent workstations they were putting into their office space, and instead choosing to go with more fluid areas such as areas with soft seating and open ‘collaborative’ areas. We also saw businesses wanting to keep their spaces as open as possible, and only wanting a few closed off areas for the top level managers and meeting rooms. Apart from that, a lot of the space we designed was kept relatively open.
If you are interested in reading our full predictions we made for 2018, give our post a read here. And with all that being said, here’s a list of our predictions for the trends we will see in 2019.
As I have just mentioned above, many businesses still want to incorporate some closed off spaces into their offices in order to allow staff at the ‘top of the food chain’ a space where they can handle certain matters in peace. However, transparency is a key trend we will see coming into play during 2019. Businesses want to send a message to their clients and potential clients that they are as open and transparent as they can be. To send, almost subliminal, messages to their client, we believe that they will be looking to implement more frameless glass partitioning into their closed off spaces to further accentuate this message of transparency.
Not only does frameless glass partitioning look clean and modern, it also helps clients and staff feel like they understand the company they are working with/for more. If you are working for a company where your line manager heads into their office all day and you cannot see them working, your mind does wander as to what they really are doing. Whilst some manager’s prefer to keep an open-door policy, frameless glass partitioning allows companies to give their staff the perfect mix of privacy and transparency.
Another advantage and reason why companies will be looking to build frameless glass partitioning into their office space in the year ahead is due to the fact that it means your office is more easily filled with natural light. By now, we all know the benefits of working in natural light, and business owners will be looking for ways to further add this benefit into their office space.
Clean, Bright and Modern Office Spaces
If you think back to the 1980’s and 1990’s, where offices were still filled with cubicles, it is extremely hard to imagine how people got any work done in that environment. Not only were you closed off from a lot of your colleagues, you were closed off from a large proportion of natural light as well, with it being replaced by filament style lighting. Not only was this nurturing a very unproductive office environment, but it is also predicted that it affected our health in a less than positive way. This article explains this in more detail.
On the other side of the scale, it has been reported that there are a lot of health benefits to being able to access a lot of natural light whilst you are at work, as this article from Business Insider explains. Including some amazing benefits such as better sleep, increased energy and even an increase in productivity. This is great for employers, so it is completely understandable that business owners and senior managers will be looking to increase the amount of natural light in their workspace. Whether this means they will be looking to completely move spaces to a building with more windows, or simply add more glass partitioning and windows is up to them.
Sit & Stand Desks
We know that sitting down all day is unhealthy. It comes with an increased risk of weight gain, heart disease and other health issues, but despite this, the majority of employees still spend up to eight hours a day sitting down. Employers are increasingly becoming more and more aware of this fact, and are always looking for ways to improve this. One of the simplest and cheapest ways employers can do this is by investing in sit & stand desks. Desks with adjustable height are easily available nowadays, easy to build and install in office space which makes them a great fit for most business owners.
Following on from the trend we saw this year in the decline of the number of permanent workstations in order to create more collaborative spaces, this year we estimate that we will see even more businesses investing in relaxation and communal areas within their office space. Many business owners know that employees are a lot more productive and collaborative when they can move somewhere, with their devices and sit with other members of other teams and work together to sort out problems. Giving employees proper space to do this, with items like sofas and bean bags can increase the productivity of your staff no end. We predict that in 2019, we will be sourcing and installing more soft seating for clients in order to improve the productivity of their staff.
Not to mention that having spaces like this installed in your office space also gives staff a reason to move around a little more when they need to collaborate with other staff in the office which also helps with the health issues of sitting down all day every day we spoke about earlier.
So there you have it, our predictions for the year ahead. More natural light, open spaces and frameless glass partitioning as well as an increase in the amount of adjustable height desks being used in office spaces we believe will all come into play in 2019. If you are looking to implement any of these into your space in 2019, why not give us a call? We’d love to discuss your office design project.
Enjoyed reading this? See more on this topic here:
- Office Design and Health and Safety
- How to Create an Office for Agile Working
- Open, Closed or Combination: Which Office Layout is Best for You?