Companies and buildings are feeling pressure to do more for the environment, so they’re using sustainable practices to do so.The world of work is constantly evolving, so office design has to keep up. Here are five trends that we are seeing that will continue into 2023.
- The office sector will have to adapt to new ways of design that are more eco-conscious, and this is already being seen.
- Organizations can be expected to integrate the remote and in-person employee experience by installing new, flexible technology within meeting rooms, common areas, and individual offices.
- The multi-modal design also impacts the post-pandemic workplace due to its benefits to workers.
Workplace design is being pulled in a million different directions. But it must also be flexible, sustainable, data-driven, multi-model, and integrate all necessary and new technologies. Here are the top five workplace design trends that will make their way into 2023.
1. Net zero buildings will gain more momentum
Net zero means reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible to zero. For a long time, net zero buildings have been gaining popularity. As the world continues to suffer from climate change, more real estate companies may adopt the net zero approach.
About 40% of annual global carbon dioxide emissions come from buildings and construction. The future design of these buildings/offices will reduce carbon emissions by using sustainable materials and suppliers.
Over 450 firms worldwide have pledged to finance the transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The office sector will have to adapt to new ways of design that are more eco-conscious, and this is already being seen — the best examples being La Jolla Commons in California and The Unisphere in Maryland.
2. Companies are solidifying how hybrid and remote work will shape the physical office space
Tim Gawel, Market Sector Leadership Associate Principal at sustainable design firm HED, told Allwork.Space Many organizations are unhappy with how their current office supports hybrid work and virtual interaction as 2022 winds down.
Companies have solidified their hybrid workplace policies and are looking to redesign their offices to support remote and in-person workers over the past six months. By installing new, flexible technology in meeting rooms, common areas, and offices, Gawel expects organizations to integrate the remote and in-person employee experience.
“Conference rooms with technological integrations that allow everyone to have the same on-camera appearance and audio quality are one of the major design elements we expect to see in the new year. We’ll also see technology enabling live working meetings with constant video and audio connectivity and the ability to move around the office while interacting with virtual employees. Gawel told Allwork.Space, “Organizations that consider the entire workplace, both virtual and in-person, in their 2023 renovations will have the edge over those who update their office furnishings.”
As employees return to the office and further embrace the hybrid experience, there is less need for individually “owned” spaces like closed offices. More emphasis is being placed on a team and community-centered areas that can be utilized for various events.
3. Data-driven design will be in demand as organizations create their office design strategies in the new year
Many organizations have approached facilities with a trial-and-error approach about what works best for their company and employees. The pandemic has shaken that tactic and created a demand for an evidence-based approach to office design.
The data-driven design considers worker behavior, such as office/coworking space activity.
Data-informed workplace design optimizes office space use by utilizing real-time data and trends, increasing productivity.
Gawel predicts an increase in facility analysis, user feedback, tech and furnishing prototypes, and space concept testing in 2023 to help companies make data-driven office design decisions.
4. Multi-modal design will optimize the future of work
Multi-modal strategy is making a significant impact in the post-pandemic workplace due to all that it offers.
This workplace design includes deep-focus spaces for quiet work, “soulful” spaces with comfortable and creative furniture and conversation nooks, innovation or event spaces, formal gathering spaces, and community spaces.
This design can help to break down silos and encourage greater collaboration and interpersonal encounters. These spaces allow more movement and usage because employees don’t have to remain at a desk or area.
“Multi-modal working combines layers of a well-considered, simple technology with pragmatic design solutions and is overlaid with storytelling and relevant experiences that optimize the work experience,” according to Forbes.
5. Offices are greenwashing rather than achieving biophilic/sustainable design
Companies and buildings are feeling pressure to do more for the environment, so they’re using sustainable practices.
Some are engaging in greenwashing instead of actual biophilic design; greenwashing is a false impression of sustainability. An office filled with aesthetically pleasing plants doesn’t mean that it isn’t still contributing to climate change.
You create a biophilic design by connecting people and nature within their built environments. The most effective biophilic method considers the environmental impact of every incorporated aspect, placing importance on sustainability over “green” looks.
Biophilia is becoming increasingly demanded by office workers. Because they want to accommodate workers and get them back to work, companies are listening more.
If organizations want to be sustainable, save money, and gain social popularity, they must become truly green, not just greenwashed.