Research by business relocation experts London Offices has identified the top trends for workspaces in the coming year, both for interior design and office culture.
Far from the isolating, cell-like cubicles and fixed corporate hierarchies of yesteryear, the modern office is designed to encourage collaboration, connection and wellbeing.
The most fashionable 2018 offices make smart use of technology, such as virtual reality headsets and chatbots.
At the same time, they are also in touch with nature with plenty of sunlight and plants to create a calm environment.
In addition, they are furnished in a way that makes them easy to adapt for hot desking and the varying numbers of day to day staff that come as a result of remote working.
Chris Meredith of London Offices, says: “Offices go through trends like anything else, and the smartest ones in 2018 are the ones that are focused on productivity by adapting to the current climate.
“Staying up to date with technological opportunities gives advantage to a business, and the ongoing focus on wellbeing is very welcome too.
“It’ll be very exciting to see how offices continue to change throughout 2018 and which trends will help businesses to become more productive and profitable.”
The office trends for 2018
Focus on collaboration and relationship forming
Companies are increasingly realising the benefits of workers being engaged and collaborative with each other, rather than operating in silos. Open plan offices, plenty of communal areas and hot desking as standard all contribute to the trend for breaking down hierarchies and keeping individuals connected.
Wellbeing as key
Understanding and awareness of mental health issues are improving all the time and employers realise that happy, well-adjusted workers are more productive and responsive. Offices that promote good mental balance with plenty of natural light, bulbs that produce artificial sunlight to combat seasonal affective disorder, plants and good staff benefits are on trend for 2018.
An office that can adapt to changing needs – including daily ones – will have a head start in 2018. Remote and flexible working mean that a different number of employees can be in the office day to day, and the type of work to be done changes too. Easily movable furniture, folding walls and roll-up overhead projector screens make for transformable and on-trend workplaces.
We aren’t usually encouraged to take work home, but taking home to work is a definite trend for the new year. Many offices are looking to become more ‘homely’ – perhaps with improved facilities such as kitchens or showers, or places to read and relax in downtime – for a more welcoming environment.
Increased use of VR
Change is afoot for the standard presentation. Virtual reality headsets are becoming the current vogue for truly immersive and interactive experiences that really engage their audiences and guarantee memorability.
More use of chatbots
Another technological advancement that looks hot for 2018 is the use of chatbots where appropriate. These can boost office productivity by assisting customers with simple queries and orders. They can even carry out online research to assist both customers and in-house staff.