2023 Office & Workplace Design Trends

How the Workplace Will Look in 2023 

We are living in an ever-changing world, one where the office environment is always changing too. Technology, culture, and current trends all play a role in how the modern workplace looks and feels. As we approach 2023, let’s look at some of the trends that are likely to shape the office of the future. From biophilic design to smarter workspaces, these office design trends will help create healthier, more productive workspaces. Let’s explore how the office will look in 2023 and what steps you can take to make sure your office is up to date. 

The Home Office: The New Norm? 

In 2023, more businesses will be embracing remote work as a viable option for their employees. This means that many people will be setting up home offices in order to better accommodate this shift. Ensure efficiency with the best hybrid work essentials.  

Ergonomics 

As technology continues to evolve, there are a variety of design trends that will be popular in the home office. For starters, ergonomic furniture continues to be particularly important in home office setups. This includes adjustable chairs, standing desks, and other features designed to make sure that people are comfortable and productive while working from home. Additionally, the incorporation of natural elements such as plants, wood finishes, and natural light will be important in creating a calming environment. 

Collaboration Tools & Tech 

With the growing trend of remote work, it’s also likely that collaboration tools and shared workspaces will become more commonplace in home offices. They will give users access to project management software, video conferencing platforms, and cloud storage solutions that allow them to be productive and efficient no matter where they work.  

Virtual Reality & AI 

Finally, there may also be a surge in the popularity of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for remote workers. Virtual and augmented reality allow users to create immersive environments in which they can collaborate with others in different locations, making remote work even easier.  

All in all, the home office of 2023 is looking to be an exciting prospect. With a combination of ergonomic design, collaboration tools, and virtual/augmented reality technology, the home office is primed to become a hub for productivity and creativity. 

Technology Will Play a Bigger Role in Office Design 

With technology becoming ever more integral to our daily lives, it’s no surprise that it is also having a big impact on office design. As we look ahead to the workplace of 2023, technology will be a major driving factor in creating comfortable, productive, and efficient spaces. Here are just some of the ways that technology will be influencing office design in the coming year. 

Connectivity  

Smart offices will allow for better connectivity between workers and the outside world, enabling remote collaboration and communication. This will be made possible through the use of smart devices as well as smart sensors which will monitor the environment and allow for greater control over air quality and temperature. 

Automation 

Automation of everyday tasks such as data entry and filing will help reduce costs and save time. In addition, automation can help improve safety conditions, as machines can detect potential hazards in the workplace. 

Artificial Intelligence 

AI is set to play an even bigger role in office design over the next few years, and not just in the home office. AI-powered solutions can automate mundane tasks, provide smarter insights into customer trends, and increase accuracy and efficiency in decision-making. 

Smart Furniture 

Smart furniture is steadily becoming increasingly more common in offices around the world. It enables workers to create a space that suits their specific needs and comes with features such as adjustable desks, automated lighting and air conditioning, and voice control.  

As technology advances, so too does the potential for a more productive, comfortable, and efficient workplace. 

Offices Will be More Sustainable 

The office of 2023 will be a lot more sustainable than today’s offices. This is mainly because companies are increasingly aware of the need to reduce their environmental footprint and use resources more responsibly.  

Recycled & Non-Toxic Materials 

Eco-friendly building materials, such as bamboo and cork, are becoming increasingly popular, as they can help reduce energy costs. Recycled materials are also being used more frequently to reduce waste and conserve resources. Designers are creating more sustainable workspaces with materials such as recycled plastics, FSC-certified woods, and low-VOC paints. These materials produce fewer toxins and are better for the environment. Additionally, designers are incorporating energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, and renewable energy sources into the office design.  

In-Office Recycling & Re-Use 

Businesses are also looking at ways to minimize waste within the office. This could include reducing paper consumption, cutting down on single-use plastics, or using reusables instead of disposables. To ensure that employees recycle and repurpose what they use, many businesses are making sure that there are separate bins for recycling and composting, as well as providing clear instructions on how to do so.  

Overall, by making sustainable changes to the office design and implementing green practices, businesses can ensure that they’re doing their part to reduce their environmental impact. 

Office Design Will Reflect Company Culture 

As the world of work continues to evolve, office design trends are also shifting to accommodate a more holistic approach to productivity. This is especially true for the offices of 2023, where design will be centered around fostering company culture. 

Touchdown Spaces 

In the office of 2023, workplace designs will prioritize flexible spaces that can easily be transformed from individual workspaces to collaborative meeting areas. These touchdown spaces will use adaptable furniture and technology to create an environment that supports both individual and team-based work. Colorful accent walls and pieces of artwork throughout the office will act as an extension of the company culture, reflecting its values and mission. 

The Communal Spaces 

To facilitate collaboration, the 2023 office design will also make more use of communal meeting areas, like lounges and break rooms. These areas will serve as hubs for conversation, creativity, and ideas to come together. In addition to communal spaces, larger conference rooms with interactive projection walls and high-tech audio/visual equipment will allow teams to collaborate on projects more effectively.  

In a time when remote work has become increasingly popular, the office of 2023 will provide an inviting atmosphere for workers who come into the office. By utilizing unique and flexible designs, companies can create an atmosphere that encourages collaboration and creativity. 

Employees Will Have More Input on Office Design 

As the office of the future begins to take shape, employees have a larger role to play in designing their workspaces. Companies are recognizing that creating an office environment tailored to their employees’ needs helps drive productivity and enhance collaboration.  

Individualization 

The modern office design will be highly individualized, with adjustable desks, furniture, and lighting for each employee. Adjustable desks can be raised or lowered to suit different postures and provide a more ergonomic environment. Flexible furniture will also allow for dynamic changes in how people use the space, allowing for collaboration between departments. Not only that, but having personalized, private spaces for employees is on the rise again. Think the old cubicles of the 90’s but updated and modern, with adjustable and stackable panels and partitions.  

Lighting & Biophilia 

Biophilic design is also being used to make offices more conducive to creativity and productivity. Natural light is becoming increasingly important, as it’s believed to reduce eye strain and improve morale. Smart lighting systems can also be used to adjust the color temperature and intensity of the lights throughout the day, depending on the task at hand. By incorporating plants, natural textures and textiles, and more natural light, you are helping keep your employees healthy and happy.  

The workplace of 2023 is designed with employee comfort and engagement in mind. Companies are recognizing that employee satisfaction is essential for a productive workforce, and they’re incorporating these elements into their office design plans. As technology continues to evolve, offices will continue to be transformed to meet the changing needs of businesses, their employees, and the modern office.  

Get in with Gateway to ensure modernity, efficiency, and comfort in your offices in 2023!

Creating Touchdown Spaces for Your Workplace

When it comes to collaboration in the workplace, you can’t afford to skimp on anything if you want to get the best possible results. While we all know that teamwork makes the dream work, it also requires some smart thinking when it comes to establishing spaces where you can all be comfortable and efficient. One of the most overlooked aspects of office design is touchdown spaces- dynamic workspace areas designated just for discussion and collaboration between coworkers. If your company doesn’t have any, or they aren’t up to par, check out our guide on how to create touchdown spaces in your office!

What is a Touchdown Space?

Fast paced work environment in a open office setting.

A touchdown space is a collaborative space that allows people from different departments and teams to come together and seamlessly collaborate. Touchdowns are designed with specific activities in mind, such as brainstorming, ideation sessions, or project management. They are often set up with a large table that can be used as a whiteboard or breakout area where people can gather around together. They may also be filled with couches and chairs, so they feel more like lounges. The purpose of touchdown spaces is to make any type of collaboration easier, more natural, and more enjoyable.

The Benefits of Collaboration

Team working together on a work project.

Touchdown spaces are the perfect opportunity to foster creativity, collaboration, and just good old-fashioned fun. They provide a space where employees can work on their own projects or collaborate with their teams. Plus, they’re a great way to increase employee engagement and morale, which can be beneficial for your business. By improving someone’s ability to collaborate in an encouraging space, you are creating more opportunities for people to learn from one another, to find what could improve a product or project, and improving overall efficiency. We all know that often two heads are better than one, so when someone needs an extra set of eyes on a project, there can now be dedicated space for that.

Where to Begin?

Office room sketch.

Before you get started with creating your touchdown spaces, here are some things you’ll want to consider in the planning and design stages:

  1. What kinds of activities do you want employees to engage in? Some ideas might include brainstorming sessions, team meetings, or working on individual assignments.
  2. How many people should be able to be in the touchdown space at one time? You’ll want enough room for everyone but not too much that it becomes overcrowded.
  3. What furniture works best for your aesthetic? You may prefer traditional furniture over modern furniture. Or perhaps you like modular furniture that can be repurposed elsewhere.
  4. Where do you have or want to put electrical outlets? Having accessibility to charging stations is imperative to efficiency. Anticipate the need to “plug and play”.

Time to Build It!

Once it’s time to create it, remember these important aspects. Be sure to introduce different areas such as breakout rooms or common areas for people to take time away from their desk and chat about what they’re working on that day. You may also be able to dedicate specific days of the week or times of day when people could come together. Encourage everyone to come together during these windows – it will get others outside of their comfort zones. You can also put up artwork, displays, sculptures etc., so that this space is visually stimulating to inspire people to create.

Make the Most of the Space

Office common area.

Find a place where employees can comfortably gather, like conference rooms or common areas. Power outlets are a must, as many people will have their laptops on the table and need access to power. Coffee is also a great addition, as it encourages socialization, fuels brainstorming, and provides an easy break from work. Natural light is important if you’re going to be working all day, as it helps people stay energized and alert. Biophilic Design is also key, as it mirrors the natural environment of humans and can help them feel more at ease. The space should have a variety of furniture available including chairs, couches, desks and coffee tables so it’s easy for different people to find what suits them best at any given moment.

Finding the Balance Between Privacy and Community in the Workplace

As more workers have moved back to the office many of them are wondering how to access the privacy they felt in their home offices inside their corporate offices. It seems that hot-desking is out, and personal space is in. This doesn’t mean collaborative spaces or touchdown spaces have been shunned; quite the opposite is true. People want duality in their office layouts: collaborative spaces for meetings or those employees that thrive in a more populated environment, and quiet, personal spaces for those who prefer otherwise.

Privacy and Collaboration: Can You Have Both?

Two people working in modern cubical office setting.

Open concept workplaces were designed with the best of intentions: to break down both the physical and social barriers among employees. This might have allowed for a senior level manager to be working at a desk next to a junior sales associate. And while this did not always make the most logistical sense, it meant that collaboration was always possible. Quick meetings could happen right across the table, without needing to book time in a conference room.

One of the key elements of office workplaces is the ability to create a sense of community among your co-workers in order to increase and encourage collaboration. However, it’s important to find balance between co-worker collaboration and personal privacy in order to keep morale high, bodies healthy, and productivity optimal in your workplace.

Workplaces for All

Many offices are shifting back from remote to in-office work, with the assumption that this will lead to increased productivity, better communication, higher quality of work, and more collaboration. However, there are also several risks involved with this change. With the increasing popularity of open office spaces over the past two decades, employees who need privacy to focus may be at a disadvantage or not get enough work done because their environment isn’t conducive to their way of working.

Additionally, research has shown that staying healthy in the office can help you stay healthy outside of the office, and tightly packed open spaces can potentially incubate and transfer sickness. The lack of private spaces in the workplace can make it difficult for people to take care of themselves, even by getting things like proper meal breaks, which can drastically improve both physical and mental health in the long run.

Balancing Privacy and Collaboration

Collaboration can be more effective when there are spaces dedicated to it and separate spaces dedicated to privacy. Touchdown spaces, namely larger conference rooms, lounges, small meeting spaces, etc., can be used for easy and accessible collaboration. However, creating dynamic workspaces with cubicles can offer a level privacy to them by having dividers that are tall enough so you can’t see over them. Open space should also be an option to promote creativity for those who wish to work in a more collective environment, which can create a collaborative vibe while still maintaining a sense of personal space. In this way, the three types of workplaces have been accounted for: personal workspace (i.e., cubicles), team workspace (i.e., touchdown spaces), and communal workspace (i.e., open spaces).

You Can Still Have Your Own Space

Privacy is a necessary aspect of a healthy, happy office environment. Many people have become accustomed to a home office, with privacy and personal space being paramount. Not having personal space can result in increased stress levels due to a lack of privacy and increased stress can lead to lower sales, decreased morale, and a plummet in productivity. Having a dedicated personal space prevents hot-desking, when several people share one workspace while the others are away. It keeps your desk as your own all day, every day, which makes coming to work more peaceful because you have a space that’s yours, as opposed to a desk in the open area where anyone can take it over. With personal spaces, employees can store personal items at their desks like snacks, family photos, goal charts, and more to improve their daily efficiency.

Tips for Creating an Office Environment That Supports Both Privacy and Collaboration

As businesses continue to grow, office space can become a commodity. When that happens, it’s important to find a way to balance privacy with collaboration. Having spaces designated for both makes it easier for employees to work together while still having their own space, which improves not only productivity, but also morale. When you give your employees what they need, they feel appreciated. Offering cubicles, having separate spaces, offering quiet rooms, touchdown spaces, and small meeting rooms, are all ways you can create an environment that supports both privacy and collaboration in the modern workplace.

Health in the Workplace Through Biophilic Design

All healthy offices should be designed in such a way as to promote the health and well-being of their employees, but what exactly does that entail? Biophilic design aims to create spaces, whether in the corporate, education, or hospitality markets, which mirror the principles found in nature—from lighting and temperature control to the positioning of furniture and elements like windows, plants, and water features. Here are some examples of biophilic design in the workplace, as well as information about how it promotes work-life balance, productivity, employee satisfaction, and more. 

What is Biophilic Design? 

Biophilia is the innate tendency to seek out natural environments. The term was coined by Erich Fromm in 1964. Today, biophilic design is a growing design trend being used to create buildings and workplaces that mimic nature and provide opportunities for people to connect with the natural world. Biophilic design can involve anything from green roofs, plant walls, plants on desks, etc. With more and more research showing the benefits of an indoor environment that incorporates nature, it seems there’s never been a better time for designing buildings with our natural surroundings in mind. 

What Does It Have To Do With The Workplace? 

Nature has many benefits including reduced stress levels and increased productivity and creativity. A workplace that incorporates plants, green spaces or natural elements can help create a healthier and more productive work environment. Biophilic design has been shown to reduce the amount of stress in the workspace and promote creative thinking and collaboration among co-workers. They also improve employee mental health by providing access to nature through walking paths and window views in office buildings. Employees have reported an increase in focus, better moods, and enhanced creativity due to exposure to nature and natural elements. Employees have noted that this kind of exposure at work resulted in improved sleep quality and reduced fatigue.

Direct and Indirect Exposure

Exposure to elements has been shown to improve mood and productivity. Studies have found that workers exposed to indirect natural light slept better and reported less stress than those exposed to artificial light. Indirect natural light can be created by adding windows or skylights to your workplace. Plants, a more direct exposure, have also been shown to make people happier, healthier, and more productive. Adding plants not only gives you an opportunity for direct exposure but also improves air quality and reduces airborne dust particles. 

Natural Light Sources

Biophilic design encourages the use of natural light sources like skylights or floor to ceiling windows. Natural daylight exposure has been shown to increase productivity by up to 37% with sunlight exposure playing a significant role in regulating an individual’s circadian rhythm. The blue wavelength of the light is also important for mood regulation, and it helps suppress melatonin release, which helps people stay alert. Studies have shown that when employees are exposed to natural light during daytime hours they are more productive than those who work in artificial lighting. 

Portrait of nice attractive stylish entrepreneur with folded arms on roof outside outdoor sunny day.

Outdoor Spaces

Natural materials work well for both indoor and outdoor environments, and outdoor spaces are valuable in the modern workplace. Not only can employees, clients, and customers use these outdoor areas as break spaces, but they can also be used as workspaces. Regular exposure to Vitamin D can help stay healthy and focused. Remember to work with a representative to find the best furniture for the outdoors, as having rugged, strong outdoor furniture is imperative. It must be able to stand up to rain, wind, sun, and snow.  

Water Features and Plants

Plants create an environment that inspires creativity and supports better health because they provide fresh air and reduce stress levels by stimulating the senses of smell and sight. The benefits don’t stop there – plants also improve productivity as they can improve concentration and offer alternative resting areas to keep people from sitting for prolonged periods of time. Studies show that more plants in the workplace could be worth over $400 million dollars in productivity gains each year! To help make your office greener, water features like fountains or waterfalls are great for adding natural sounds and cool air during warm months to lower overall indoor temperatures. By choosing plants that are native to your region, you can also save money on HVAC costs by decreasing energy use. For example, ferns do well in cooler climates while cacti do well in warmer climates! 

Gateway works with you to find commercial furniture and fixtures to complement your Biophilic Office Design!

Design Trends for the Modern Workplace 

First impressions matter. Your workplace design is a reflection of your business, your goals and your company culture. You want your design aesthetic to impress visitors, encourage customers and enhance employee productivity. Believe it or not, workplace design can have quite the impact on employee engagement, morale and even retention. We’ll review a few of our favorite modern workplace design trends like ergonomic office furniture, biophilic design, flexible spaces and inclusivity.  

Ergonomic Office Furniture 

Whether you prefer to sit at a desk, stand at a desk, walk on a treadmill while you’re working or lounge on a couch, having an ergonomic setup is imperative. When our spines are aligned, we stay focused longer, have improved physical health, breathe better, and lower our risks for strain or injury. Ergonomic furniture can look like adjustable sit-stand desks, well supported seating, floor mats for standing and more.  

Biophilic Design 

If the past few years have taught us anything about our workspaces, it’s that often some plant life can greatly improve both the environment and workplace morale. Biophilic design is a concept used to increase connectivity to nature, whether direct or indirect. If you have the space for it, consider building a plant wall across from a large window. This way the plants get direct sunlight, and your employees will have plants on one side and natural light on the other. If a plant wall is not available to you, bring in a few small plants. Many plants improve the air quality indoors and can even help minimize humidity. Great options for indoor plants are: 

  1. Snake Plants 
  1. Fiddle Leaf Fig Plants 
  1. Boston Ferns 
  1. English Ivy 
  1. Peace Lilies 

Before you create a large indoor garden, be sure to consider the allergies and sensitivities of the people in your workplace. A few plants around the space should be fine if allergies are present. And don’t forget to water them!  

Flexible Spaces 

While many offices and workplaces had been designed to be fixed use, that doesn’t work in most modern-day work environments. Workplaces can be flexible, outfitted with furniture that can be moved and adjusted to suit the individual needs of employees, visitors, and customers. Being able to pick up a few cubes and turn them into a table or extra seating allows meetings and collaborative sessions to happen on the fly. Having the ability to find your own optimal work environment is key and a great solution to modern workplace problems.  

Inclusivity 

Inclusive design is about accommodation for need, choice, or flexibility. Designing a breakroom, for example, with a wheelchair bound person in mind will likely not affect anyone who isn’t in a wheelchair but can dramatically improve the workplace experience for any person who is. The same goes for seating—having inclusive seating available can allow a pregnant person to feel both welcome and comfortable. And for neurodivergent persons, providing dedicated quiet spaces to employees who need auditory or sensory deprivation can allow those employees to know they are valued, and that their needs are respected in the workplace.  

Contact Gateway to incorporate modern workplace design trends into your new office!