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The Importance of Great Workspace Design and How it Will Benefit Your Team

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Workspace design has been on a whole there-and-back-again journey.  Jumping straight into 2021 and how the land lies right now: 54.9% of remote workers are thinking of opting for a coworking space post-pandemic.  We have a hunch this might have something to do with the great workspace design the serviced office industry is offering. Baring in mind that Gartner's research found employees would consider quitting over a negative work environment, where and how you ask your employees to work matters.

We've recently provided a whole series of information on the importance of fostering a strong sense of community, communication, and cybersecurity at work - whether that be at home or from the office. How about the aesthetics, though? How big a part do they play? In this week's post, we'll cover some of our favourite great workspace design trends, and their key benefits to you.

Great workspace design trend #1: Half-moon space.

Half-moon spaces are popping up as an innovative solution to support your teams who are hybrid working: large meeting  breakout areas with a range of furniture (bar stools, bleacher-seats, individual chairs, sit-stand desks) are arranged in a half moon shape with video-conferencing equipment set up centrally, so those working from home can dial in and the team can work together wherever they are. These spaces tend to include multiple sockets and USB power outlets.

Half-moon space key benefits:

- They're IT-savvy.

Half-moon space allows your team to 'plug-in and play' in a way that suits them:  employees can stand next to eachither (socially distanced, of course); one using a sit-stand-desk and their neighbour can use an armchair if they wish - and be video-conferencing colleagues working remotely. (It also makes for a buzzing, ever-changing environment!)

- It's IT secure.
Ok, so this isn't strictly applicable to half moon spaces - but stay with us - half moon spaces are popping up in coworking spaces for rent, and these spaces - also known as serviced offices - tend to offer more robust and private internet packages, with private IT lines of varying speeds and bandwidths. This is an absolute must for corporate clients who value and rely on compliant, and resilient technology at work.  

Great workspace design trend #2: sustainable office fit-outs.

Sustainable workspace designs are thinking bigger: their technological innovations are the initiatives we all need to be taking given the climate emergency - cue the rise of biophilic workspace designs.  Increasingly, biophilic workspace designs (those that incorporate the natural world inside) are on the rise for so many reasons. Air quality, natural light, plants, and earth-toned colour schemes are all examples of this and they are rising in popularity for a number of reasons:

Key benefits of sustainable workspaces:

- They humanise the workplace.
Managing Director at Gensler, an architecture firm Philippe Pare explains,
“Some offices can feel quite stark and sterile, but if you add other layers, such as plants, it feels more human and more relatable at a primary, sensory level.” 

- They are scientifically proven to boost employee wellbeing.
According to The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace Report, employees in offices that embrace biophilic workspace design reported 15% higher levels of wellbeing at work.

- They boost Employee Retention rates; saving companies huge rehiring and training costs.
Great workspace designs that value sustainability are particularly crucial to Milennial and Gen-Z workers. The blockchain-based clean energy platform, Swytch's survey found that 64% of Milennials prioritise working at a company that is sustainably responsible.

#Great workspace design trend #3: unbranded workspaces & bespoke designs.

54.9% of remote workers are considering opting for flexible working. Pre-pandemic, flexible working solutions were booming and for good reason - it seems the pandemic has only exacerbated this shift; a 5-year lease is becoming a thing of the past.What does this mean for workspace design? It means you no longer have to opt for a beige cubicle on a generic office floor. Providers are covering every element of design that your company desires. From colour palettes to bespoke furniture and everything in between - gyms, Wellness rooms, ping pong tables - there is an opportunity for you to personalise and love where you work.

Key benefits to unbranded workspaces & bespoke designs:

- A great workspace design emanates your company culture.
Workspace Design Magazine spoke to workspace designer Vocon's team, who explained that every space can embody your brand identity and as such, be used as a strategic business lever. They explain: "Successful environments are created when you are able to align a brand’s touch points with a matching quality of space.” The way your office looks should - and can - reflect your specific values and goals in serviced offices this is why they leave their spaces unbranded - so you can make your private office yours. Aesthetically personalising your space means your company ethos is reinforced visually and this motivates your team; offering them a sense of belonging - and simultaneously boosts your brand identity. Win win!

Great Workspace design trend #4: multi-functioning collaboration zones.

Serviced offices are providing not only breakout spaces for employees to work together on one large desk - but a myriad of different zones that are adaptable according to your collaborative needs. Consulting and design firm, Strategy Plus, found that office use peaks at 42% - that leaves 50% of space that can be used more efficiently if it is adaptable and fit-for-purpose. Multi-functioning workspace design innovations such as:

-partition screens,
-smart glass (that divides and collapses spaces),
- ergonomic furnishings (such as wrist supports, swivel/ adjustable chairs, sit-0stand desks)
- pre-bookable hot-desks
- non pre-bookable spaces (reserved explicitly for chance encounters and spontaneity)
- acoustic backbooths

cater to just about any form of collaboration your team might need. CBRE's 'Our Future at Work' Report for instance offers employees 6 alternative work set-ups t choose from, varying from traditional desk set-ups to casual working zones.

Multi-functioning collaboration zones, or ABW's main benefits:

- Will help you retain your best team.
A study by employee benefits news found that the average employee exit costs 33% of their annual salary. It is in your company's interest to keep - and hold on to with both hands - your best people. One crucial way you can retain them is by offering them an environment where they can learn, interact, and evolve. 

- Nurtures a sense of community.
In fact, Millenials are 22x more likely to work for a company with a high trust culture.  This is why workspace design trend #3 is so crucial. Where there has been a seismic shift to working flexzibly, different personality types should be catered to - and embraced - in the workplace so you are celebrating and recognising your team's strengths in the very walls of your work environment.

How can Flexioffices help you implement a great workspace design?

In an unpredictable 2021 working canvas, we can help you find the workspace that boasts all of the aforementioned benefits, that embraces your company and what you stand for. All contracts are flexible and nothing is off the table. Get in touch with us to launch your workspace search.  

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