By Catherine Chea
Global Furniture Group, a provider of the workplace, education, and health-care furniture, is sponsoring this article.
Trends in the workplace emerge regularly, but do they last? Office trends are “in-style” because they address issues, unlike fashion on and off the catwalk, which may be avant-garde or difficult. Office spaces are designed to help companies be more productive and are intended to be practical and efficient. So, how does working in an unconventional setting affect this? On the other hand, breaking from the standard could only enliven cognition and provide a creative environment for creative minds. You may expect to see more of the following five non-traditional workplace trends this year.
The ‘Coffice’ is number one.
Working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is emotionally exhausting for many individuals. To escape, an increasing number of individuals are working in offices (half coffee shops, part offices), where they may write a report or test software while sipping coffee or nibbling on a scone. Unlike traditional cafés, offices are intended to be an alternative workplace where individuals are not obligated to purchase anything to remain.
For example, on the first floor of one Toronto office building, there is a unique office area where individuals may have lunch, speak with colleagues or customers, and get work done. There is also a café where customers may purchase beverages and pastries on this level.
Café Coffice, where clients have access to a printer and the opportunity to hire a conference room, and Anticafé, where users must pay $3 for the first hour and $2 for successive hours, are two examples of offices in Montréal.
It’s hard to say when this trend started. It’s as ancient as free Wi-Fi, according to some. Starbucks, for example, may be categorised as a coffice since many individuals bring their computers into work while sipping a Venti latte.
The growth of freelancing has increased the demand for co-working facilities. In fact, by 2020, it’s expected that 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers. In 2015, freelancers accounted for more than 10% of the total working population in Canada. Many freelancers want a work area away from home to concentrate and avoid distractions. As a result, additional co-working spaces, including offices, are expected to open this year.
2. The Application of Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace
We can anticipate significantly greater Artificial Intelligence integration in our staff in 2018. Artificial Intelligence is taking over numerous occupations formerly performed by humans, from personal scheduling assistants to chatbots to human resources software. By allowing us more time to concentrate on essential job obligations, these new technological advancements enable us to “think about work in more inventive ways.” It’s also allowing for a more mobile workforce, where employees aren’t required to be in the office all of the time. Andrew, your coworker, will soon be widely acknowledged as an AI personal assistant rather than a human.
3. Home-Sweet Offices
Employers have difficulty creating a workplace that people desire to work in. As a result, workplace designs are becoming to resemble those of houses. Office interiors are becoming more warm and welcoming, rather than stale and sterile styles. One of Amazon’s Seattle conference rooms, for example, has been dubbed “more of a living room than a conference room.”
Many offices now have an office bar, unheard of only a decade ago. After a hard day at the office, these pubs are great places to relax and socialise with coworkers. As a result, these workplaces are welcoming environments that allow workers to unwind just enough to feel less apprehensive or tense, allowing them to focus on their job.
4. Green Offices (Biophilic Designs)
You may have heard of Amazon’s Biospheres, which is set to debut this year, or about moss walls, which are one of the newest green workplace fads. Designers and architects are searching for ever more creative methods to incorporate plants into workplace spaces. More plants are always a good thing: they help decrease stress, improve air quality, and, most significantly, make the workplace seem more comfortable, removing it from the suffocating cubicle spaces of the past.
Plant dividers are a terrific alternative to regular cubicles and walls when it comes to cubicles. Adding green wall separators to the workplace offers extra seclusion visual stimulation and improves the overall atmosphere of the business by adding vegetation.
Not only can you create a wall with plants, but great ceiling décor can also be done by hanging or installing plants above.
Designers and builders are encouraged by the biophilic design trend to create an open environment that optimises natural lighting by employing glass walls and huge glass panels to let more light in.
5. Acoustic Furniture and Rooms
In recent years, open-plan workplaces have received a lot of flak. For many people, the noise and distractions that come with coworking spaces hinder productivity. As a result, more private and quiet office spaces are in high demand.
Open-plan workplaces are being replaced with hybrid offices. These offices are equipped with a range of rooms and facilities, including common areas, conference rooms, and soundproof enclaves, to fulfil the different demands of workers.
Soundproof enclaves may be made using a variety of acoustic furniture, including mini-booths and seats with a high back that operate as an enclosure, like this River chair.
By introducing more quiet spaces in the office, employees can work autonomously with less distractions.
A Workspace That Suits Your Lifestyle
Workplaces are evolving to better accommodate people’s lifestyles. Offices are becoming more than just locations to get work done, as more individuals choose flexibility over income. They are also spaces for creativity, inspiration, leisure, socialising, and entertainment. Expect to see even more imaginative solutions for organisations to make individuals feel at ease in the workplace this year. After all, home is where we strive for comfort and to be our best selves; attributes that can only improve productivity when carried into workplaces and workstations.