3 essential workplace trends for 2017

20 January 2017. Features.

As companies look to attract more staff and keep their most influential people, the workplace in 2017 is set to shift to a more culture-focused, technology-filled environment. Project Director, Ramin Ardebili shares his thoughts on which trends will become the most important in 2017.

Over the last decade I have explored many workplace styles across various industries ranging in scale and spanning the globe, from law firms in London to leading advertising groups in Paris, aeronautical manufacturing in Sydney to pharmaceutical giants in Philadelphia and I find it fascinating that there are similarities in the key factors that inspire and define parameters of any project regardless of scale.

Activity based working

Activity based working (ABW) will start to become even more popular and perhaps an industry standard for some sectors. Activity based working takes a step back from agile working and seeks to support and enhance the tasks that staff are most commonly undertaking. ABW creates opportunities for staff to comfortably work in a way that they want to and in a way that improves their experience at work. Rather than being limited to a standard setup, people have the luxury of choice (a dynamic and flexible environment that supports solo or group working) whether that be at a table, enclosed room or even an armchair.

The role of change management is influential in making activity based working successful so attention to detail and time spent on-boarding staff to this enhanced style of working will also increase. As we have seen on some of our most recent projects, Peldon Rose’s ability to deliver successful change management campaigns, like at TNS in 6 More London, helps businesses to immediately see the benefits of their new office design.

ABW is fundamentally about productivity and matching a space to staff behaviours in the workplace. And with more exciting technology and furniture emerging, this working style is giving people an environment in which they can thrive in. We are moving into an era of choice and why ABW is so important to office spaces is that people are empowered and not limited.

Culturally-inspired design

Workplace consultancy obviously isn’t anything new but in 2017 companies are increasingly going to begin to really explore the benefits of workplace consultancy and analysis as they look to make their offices uniquely theirs. This break from ‘off the shelf’ offices is all about channelling an individuality and unique working environment that is born from research, data and analysis.

Workplace consultancy is massively important and using offices to inspire individual ideas and company cultures will also serve as a talent acquisition device and appeal to the decision makers and the HR leaders. People are giving a lot of thought to the office design when making decision on jobs and contracts. Poorly designed offices or lazy outlooks on staff’s best interests are becoming costly. Businesses are now able to have tailored spaces that are designed according to research and data, instead of something that just looks good. The workforce is looking for more than slides and free breakfast in the office, they want an irresistible culture and a support structure that helps them progress and deliver high quality results.

Blissful solitude

Almost in a reaction to the widespread (and frequently improper) implementation of agile working, businesses are looking to re balance the office and introduce quiet, private spaces to allow staff to retreat from the open workspaces.

Workplace consultancy and intelligent, ostensive design will help to bring a variety of smaller focus spaces instead of just large open plan offices. There is undoubtedly a time when all of us need to have spaces to share ideas and collaborate but if we only have these spaces it can impact on our productivity levels and hinder our performance at work. The necessity for these quiet areas is to bring balance into the office and allow people to work on their own and focus away from the collective.

These quiet spaces are also increasingly important to the booming co-working environments, so the growth of shared spaces is making focus booths or quiet areas essential. Every worker who needs that period of uninterrupted concentration or even to take a phone call, these types of pods and booths will begin to appear and take on an even more important role in the office in 2017.

Workplace trends are in a constant state of flux and office design has become increasingly prioritised by new staff. So, in order to keep attracting the most talented and skilled staff, it is essential for businesses to find out exactly what they should be doing for their people, to continue enhancing their work environments in order to create intelligent office strategies. To discover how your business could benefit from workplace consultancy or change management services, get in touch with our team to discuss what improvements your company could make in 2017.

Written by Project Director, Ramin Ardebili

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