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The 3 Trends Shaping Workplace Design in 2022

Workplace trends come and go each year; however recently some trends have started to hang around long enough to influence design. From AI technologies to comfort-focused design – the impact of the latest workplace culture shift is shaping a new style of offices.

With the ever-changing nature of trends, it’s hard to pinpoint which trends stay and which are quickly forgotten. To understand how trends shape workspace design, let’s look at the three key trends that have been changing offices for the past 12 months.

Trend One: Technology and AI Advances

The way we work has evolved – and it shows in our offices. The use of technology for both work and leisure has increased dramatically in the past ten years. While working from home, employees became more dependent on their work devices and cloud services to stay connected and in the loop. 

This dependence on technology has translated into office design in recent years, with intelligent buildings and cloud systems becoming an essential aspect of the workspace. Innovative workspaces are now using AI systems to alter lighting, air quality and audio-visual systems. This technology allows organisations to optimise the space employees work in – while simultaneously reducing overall energy costs. 

AI and new technologies have allowed us to identify the trends and patterns employees follow, create reports and uncover surprising behaviours influencing our work habits. These reports let companies create a more enjoyable environment for employees to work in and produce higher quality work faster.

Result: 

  • Automated environmental controls
  • Cloud systems 
  • Wireless workstations 

Trend Two: Flexible and Hybrid Work Models

More hybrid and flexible work models are popping up, and companies must adapt their offices to support this. Creativity, connection and community are the three pillars businesses can design their workspaces around to accommodate this change. 

Assigned desks are no longer needed when employees don’t spend all their time in the office. More businesses are instead opting for bookable or non-bookable spaces within their offices to allow for movement and freedom. Whether that’s a desk/pod booking system, breakout spaces or secluded areas – employees need a range of environments to work in and are adaptable for different task needs.

Multipurpose spaces are becoming more popular as they can accommodate changing workplace requirements such as employee capacity and needs. Breakout zones are an example of multipurpose spaces used for small group activities, presentations or catch-ups all in one area.

Space allocation is essential when trying to achieve an office that promotes hybrid working models. In-office work models can only work if there is space to accommodate employees doing different tasks; allocating focused and social areas is a simple way of doing this. This small change in environment can increase their productivity and task engagement with minimal effort.

Result: 

  • Space allocation
  • Flexible workstations
  • Focused vs Non-focused areas

Trend Three: The Sustainability Focus

The weight of our environmental impact is a pressure we can’t seem to shake – even in the workplace. Luckily, many offices are adapting their design to benefit their employees and the sustainability of their office. 

A recent report from Forbes showed the interest and investment employees place in the sustainability of the companies they work for. Sustainable workplace design has been a priority for many companies in recent years. Ventilation systems, low-emission materials and paperless offices, LED lighting and environmental AI systems are all additions to the workplace that improve the sustainability of a building. 

Sustainability and eco-offices aren’t going away – more companies are investing in employee bike storage, recycling organic waste bins in offices and intelligent building management systems to improve energy usage. The integration of sustainable design elements varies depending on the company’s commitment to eco-friendly choices. However, there has still been a significant increase in sustainably designed workplaces over the past decade. 

Result: 

  • AI environmental systems
  • Sustainable in-office practises
  • More waste disposal options in the office 

Honourable Mentions:

Neurodiversity Inclusivity 

Around 25 per cent of the global population is neurodivergent, yet not many workspaces reflect this number through inclusive business practices – until recently. Neurodiversity in the workplace means accommodating and adapting the space for individual needs; office design is integral to this. 

The modern workplace doesn’t account for neurodivergent differences such as stimulation issues, environmental factors and comprehension delays. By understanding the impacts of neurodiversity, many workspaces can implement design tactics that create a more inclusive space. The trends of phone booth-style workstations and variation in the environment are great examples of neurodiverse inclusive design elements.

Office Neighbourhoods 

Since the shift away from traditional office layouts, some companies have moved away from open-plan workspaces and into office neighbourhoods. A neighbourhood is an allocated space for teams to collaborate, away from the bustling main area. This space allows employees to unite and foster the connection. The space could look like a work bar, lounge area or mini-meeting room/pod space. 

Workplace safety and employee happiness are the underlying factors for all design trends in workspaces. The more we observe workplace trends worldwide, the more we can see how trends impact business designs and practices. 

At AI Office, staying ahead of workplace trends is vital to ensure we are creating collaborative, productive and beneficial workspaces for employees to reach their full potential. To keep up to date on future work trends, sign up for our newsletter here.






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