5 DESIGN TRENDS FOR THE MODERN OFFICE
As 2012 comes to a close, many of us in the design world are looking forward to the creative ideas and solutions that are sure to unfold in modern office design in the next 365 days. As we plan for 2013, it is important to look back on 2012 and consider the trends that had the greatest impact on how we do business in the modern world.
Open workspaces were very popular amongst our clients this year. Open office systems incorporate some or all of the following design elements: team workspaces, shared workspaces, alternative work areas, space for large meetings/training, huddle rooms, broad main aisles, activity space and focused workspace. Get specific details about open workspace.
A particularly popular design element of the open workspace in 2012 was the use of benching applications. In the modern office, benching is comprised of work surface spaces with a central technology infrastructure. Benching is a very community-centric approach to working individually yet collaboratively, which leads us to the next design trend of 2012 that will certainly continue on into 2013 — collaborative workspaces.
Efficiency of Space
As the economy continues to recover from the 2007-2010 recession, corporations are shifting from a “bigger is better” mentality to an appreciation of maintaining a smaller real estate footprint. This shift in culture has affected both the actual size of a company’s office building or space and the individual workspaces. Designers are tasked with the challenge of making every square inch of an office workable space. The trend for creating the most efficient spaces possible has increased the use of demountable walls such as the Infinium wall systems.
Individual workstations are much smaller, and collaborative spaces are used generously. By cutting back on personal workspace and private offices, modern offices are able to increase the size and use of break rooms, lounges and breakout areas. Gaming systems are becoming increasingly more popular in these collaborative spaces. Designing the work environment more efficiently enhances the work experiences, and therefore, retention of employees. Open, collaborative, and yet, efficient spaces create an environment that optimizes creativity and connectivity.
Open, collaborative workspaces must integrate technology throughout the office design in order to be effective. Without effective technology integration, collaborative workspaces simply will not work. The entire workspace must lend itself to a holistic embracing of technology. From iPod and iPad docking stations strategically installed throughout the space to large screen monitors for Facetime and Skype conferencing, 2012 modern office design trended to the embracing of technology throughout the workspace.
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