How is your office design reflecting the changes we are facing in the world?

An overview of the evolution in office design and what the future of workspaces will look like with elements that can attract and retain top talent and return back to office life.


5 minute read

25th June, 2021 | Remarcable

When we look through the history of office design trends, we begin to see patterns that are a reflection of worldly breakthroughs across the years. As technology advances and human psychology develops we become more aware of what is required in the workplace to benefit employees' work performance and productivity. Today we have hit an ultimate peak in new revelations, where old ways of thinking are unsustainable. An action plan of change in the workplace is now a necessary investment of the future to sustain business growth and expansion. 


Firstly, let's take a moment to highlight the breakthroughs in the history of workspace designs..


  • Office spaces in some shape or form have existed throughout history tracing back to the 15th century when medieval monks created the Scriptorium, a cubicle-esque desk designed for copying manuscripts. Its name literally translates to 'a place for writing'. 
  • Fast forward to 1726 where the believed first purpose-built office in London was erected known today as The Ripley Office. 
  • Moving through the timeline to the 19th century where the first 'skyscraper' in the UK  (Oriel Chambers built-in 1864  in Liverpool) consisted of only 5 stories high but was the first architectural structure to be constructed with an iron inner structure, removing the need for walls to support it. With new advancements and discoveries in technological breakthroughs throughout this century creating changes in the way we communicated and worked, from the telegraph to the first working telephone and with the commercialisation of the lightbulb in 1879, increasing the length of the average workday. 
  • From the 20th century, the changes throughout office design were rapidly evolving with modern-day technology at an all-time high. Office trends evolved from the streamlined office designed for efficiency and speed to the open-plan office with the widespread use of air-conditioning and fluorescence lighting; the new high-rise buildings had very little need for natural light or ventilation and were instead rooms filled with desks. 
  • Moving through to the 1980s where the cubicle office was born out of the reality that HR departments, managers and directors were less interested in the wellbeing of their staff than they were in profitability. 
  • Heading into the 1990s with the rise of internet access the virtual office was created with more flexibility in working away from the main desk and hubs. 


All of which has led us to the trends we see in today's era, the casual and hybrid office. A huge factor to a new shift in office design was the effects of the global pandemic and is one that will continue to pave the way for the future of office space. 


But where does that leave us and how can we ensure that our workspace evolves to fulfill employees' demands post Covid19?


Based on strong industry research and our design knowledge we predict that there will be 3 major core trends in the future of office design: wellbeing, sustainability, and technology. Incorporating these trends into the work environment will benefit all users; Boosting employee motivation, productivity, and creativity which in turn increments business growth for employers, all whilst being a space that provides impressionable positive customer/client experience. 


Let's look further into what valuable outcomes each of those aspects can bring to business owners and their team members. 


Wellbeing:

With a team of wellbeing advocates, we pride ourselves in designing human-centric spaces that suit the needs of each individual. 

WHY - Our wellbeing is highly linked to our level of productivity and should be prioritised in order for everyone to work at their utmost best. 

THE FACTS - A number of studies conducted have shown the potential benefits in business growth for those employers who choose to invest in employee wellbeing. Results show that companies engaged with high levels of employee wellbeing, have outperformed the stock market by around 2%-3% per year over a 25 year period and are 3.5 times more creative and innovative. 

HOW WE CAN HELP - Remarcable excels in designing spaces that benefit users wellbeing through our 4 key design elements: 

nature & plants  |  light & atmosphere  |  bespoke branding  |  colour & mood

We ask the most important question: How do you want your space to make you feel? 


Simply put 'Happy people perform better!' 


Sustainability: 

We believe sustainability is a mindset and as commercial interior designers, we have a tremendous impact on the sustainability of an environment by sourcing materials and products that will be used. 

OUR GOAL - To design spaces for longevity by considering the lifespan of design elements and their durability. 

HOW - From energy-efficient lighting to using materials with a low environmental impact such as wood and natural stone. We also work closely with sustainable furniture suppliers that provide sustainability reports on their process from start to finish. Our designs are forward-thinking, flexible, and adaptable in order to suppress the urge to want to change the whole design every couple of years. 

CLIENT'S VALUABLE OUTCOME - Having this sustainable approach to design ensures not only to improve environmental impact but also your companies cost savings in furniture upkeep and building renovation and maintenance. 


Technology:

Technology is evolving quicker than design, however, the two go hand in hand. 

WHY - Installation of smart technology in the workplace can increasingly boost productivity and can even help to reduce the number of individual tasks. 

THE FACTS - A surge in touchless technology which allows computer systems to take instructions through voice, user behaviour, facial patterns or physical movement has become increasingly integrated in the workplace since the pandemic to help ensure worker's own safety and that of others.  There are also a number of new productivity measuring tools available on the market, these really help benefit time management, communication, and task management. 

CLIENT'S VALUABLE OUTCOME - With the introduction of a new hybrid work model with people working from home, efficient meeting room technology should be at an all-time high. Incorporating the latest smart video technology focuses on real-time collaboration and decreased set-up pain to help meetings run smoothly while saving your company time and money.


In summary, the purpose and need for office space have always been a necessity and very much still is. A central hub in which people unite and conduct official business tasks through collaboration and team involvement. However, we now find ourselves in times of change where both adaptation and a priority on future focus are now required.  The office environment is in its own right a type of educational space where team training and development occurs every day, the environment must be designed in order to help teams attain new knowledge. Investing in the right design for your workspace ensures you stay current whilst attracting and retaining top talent sets you apart from your competition and incrementing your business. 



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