Designing the Workplace of the Future
Companies all over the world are facing an unprecedented challenge — how do we retain, re-energize and re-engage employees in a hybrid work environment. What is the role of the workplace and how do we adopt space to meet the needs of a more diverse and distributed workforce. And what we’re seeing is that workspace designers are at the forefront of solving this challenge. They’re helping companies rethink the relevance of the workspace and how to design for today’s workforce.
Gensler’s Co-CEO, Dianne Hoskin says, “The more the workplace is connected in a thoughtful way to the organizational strategies, leadership models, operational frameworks and potential outcomes of a company, the stronger the workplace will emerge. It’s all about designing the workplace around people — and ensuring that every space has a purpose which empowers and inspires people to build greater relationships and do more impactful work.
Here are just some of the workplace design trends that we think will shape the future:
- Doing Away with Individual Desks Gone are the days when employees come to an office to sit at their desk from 9-5 and complete a list of tasks they’ve been given. Work no longer happens at a desk. It happens in conversations, in virtual zoom rooms, at offsites and everywhere. Companies like Salesforce are leading the way creating neighborhoods where employees can grab a desk as and when they need it, but also collaborate with colleagues in wide open spaces, have a team meeting in a lounge or catch up with a co-worker over coffee. The workforce of the future are a workforce that thrives on choice, unique experiences and an environment that caters to their working styles and wellbeing.
- Immersive Experiences Whether it’s giving your workplace a little local flare, wearing your mission on your walls, or creating experiences within the workplace that give employees an opportunity to connect to the space and people — immersive experiences will be central to the workplace of the future. This bespoke VR experience for visitors at the Westfield mall in San Francisco is a great example of how people interact with space while learning and understanding more about their environment and those around them.
- A Little Room to Socialize We’ve said it before, but community is the biggest attraction of the workplace today. And no matter where employees are, there should be a little space to socialize and build community. Because community builds culture and camaraderie — and ultimately inspires collaboration and productivity. All workplaces should create spaces designed specifically for teams to come together and connect. Whether it’s a ping pong table inside or a rooftop garden outside — your team needs space to interact with each other — without the “work-strings” attached.
Needless to say, the future of working quite a bit different — but we couldn’t be more excited to be part of designing workplaces where every team can thrive.