Top 10 Workspace Trends for 2021
What a year 2020 was! The world as we knew it was turned upside down, completely altering work, the workspace, and indeed the workforce itself. We think it is safe to say that COVID19 has transformed space needs…forever. So far in 2021, we’re still in a pandemic, (and thankful for the vaccine roll-out) so our top trends this year are more difficult to compile than in the past.
While there is much that is trending in workspace design such as acoustics, textures, and color, for these top trends we focus on space usage, layout, and configuration trends. Whatever the future holds with returning to work, whether it be a full return to the office or just a few days per week, one thing is certain, workplace design and configuration is taking on some diverse and fascinating trends. Here are 10 of them. Enjoy.
#1 Office Refurbishment
While many companies may downsize and potentially relocate, there will be a significant number who simply adapt their current space to reflect the new reality of work. The focus will be quality of the space, not number of desks.
#2 Space Optimization
As corporations adapt to the hybrid way of working with staff working from home 2-3 days a week, they find that a space that is 30% smaller may be sufficient. “De-densify and optimize” is the new rally cry.
#3 Design-Led Dividers
Purposeful, not reactive. There cannot be just a bunch of plexiglass dividers to protect employees. Permanent dividers such as glass and acoustical panels will be an integral part of the design to make them sustainable for the future.
#4 Distance Domination
Distance is here to stay. As teams return to work there is the lingering concern about health in the office. Besides air filtration and other precautions, designing distance into the layout is key to a healthy office.
Residential features in commercial space. Or to say it another way, it feels like home…but at work. This more casual approach is being seen in both physical spaces and within company cultures in the post-COVID workplace.
#6 Open & Clean
The open floor plan is here to stay …but different. It simply will need to adapt for the next normal. Open layouts can be “socially distancing friendly” and easier for janitorial crews to clean and disinfect.
#7 Flexible Furniture
2021 and beyond = Flexibility. Agile furniture that is easily reconfigured to adapt to any circumstance the future might hold. This is of course is music to the ears of both the facilities team and CFO’s alike after experiencing 2020!
#8 Direction Matters
People flow has taken a whole new meaning. Circular office design and things like more compact one-way hallways will be key to optimize square footage while keeping things safe and flowing well.
#9 Employee-Led Solution
Not just employee input, but employee-led. Distributed locations to be closer to the workforce is just the first step. The office of the future will be a whole new experience around social interaction that they have missed in 2020.
#10 The Tech Takeover
Facilities are going touchless but also going digital. Providing laptops will decrease the office headcount at any given time and drive an office with conveniences like more outlets and videoconferencing provisions.