What Trends Are We Seeing in Corporate Headquarters Redesign?

September 17, 2019 | Flexible Design

Corporate headquarters redesign has changed big-time over the past 10 years. Traditional office designs where the employees sit at the same desk in the same cubicle in the same row every day are rapidly being phased out.

Today’s modern company headquarters are redesigning their working spaces with new ideas and goals in mind: Ideas like: no assigned seating; areas designed to foster collaboration, brainstorming, and creative thinking; spaces that offer employees a pleasant and nurturing experience (instead of a space that simply burns them out).

Here’s a list of 3 corporate office redesign trends that’ll boost your company’s efficiency and keep your employees productive and happy.

1. Flexible Work Spaces

The idea here is to allow employees to choose how, when, and where to work. There needs to be an array of work areas to choose from depending on the task at hand—places like workstations; joint areas that facilitate collaboration; and concentration zones (eg. an office library).

These flexible work environments look something like this:

Workstations

The trend is to make workstations smaller and to set them up around the perimeter of the office. These workstations are used as touchdown spaces. When workers come into the office, they need a spot to read and answer email and voice messages. And on and off throughout the day, they need a place to complete various administrative duties.

However, the current thinking is that employees don’t have to be at an assigned desk all day, with heads down, to actually be productive.

Conference Rooms

No more enclosed conference rooms down the hall. The modern trend is a conference area in the middle of the office, surrounded by the workstations along the perimeter. Team members gather in the middle of the room. Ideas are shared. Brainstorming happens. The other team members at the workstations are close enough to hear and are encouraged to share their ideas. This is an area that buzzes with activity.

Private Enclaves

The shared entrepreneurial atmosphere of a modern office doesn’t always afford a lot of privacy. There are times when team members need to talk privately or need to make a private phone call.

The trend here is to build a few small office retreats—with a desk, a sofa, a chair, and laptop and phone connections. This is a place where employees can shut the door and make a call.

Office Library

Workers sometimes find themselves with a task that takes a great deal of quiet and concentration. This work can’t happen in the buzzing activity of an open office.

In response to this need, designers are introducing library-style spaces where there is silence and a minimum of distraction. To make this space work, there are a set of rules attached to the use of the room. The people occupying the room are not to be distracted. No talking. No cell phones. No interruptions.

Office Space

The trend here is: no big private offices.

And there’s a shift in the thinking of space in general.

Current thinking has been that office real estate is allocated by title. The president of a company gets the largest amount of space, while a worker bee is lucky to get a tiny desk in a corner somewhere.

Newer thinking contends that the percentage of space needs to be assigned on the basis of how much time an employee spends in the office. An engineer working on a project and is in the office 60% or more of the working day will get a larger work space than the president or salespeople who spend far less time onsite.

Headquarters Amenities

The progressive mantra seems to be: great staff deserves great offices.

A positive workplace experience will help attract and retain the very best type of employee.

Many corporate headquarters are introducing employee amenities, such as a coffee bar, a cafe, even things like a yoga studio, work-out room, massage room, and game area.

2. Interesting Design Elements in Corporate Office Resign

Corporations have a story to sell.

The way their headquarters interiors are designed and furnished helps to share that story with their employees and the community in which they operate.

Cutting edge corporate office redesign provides a creative, modern, and stylish representation of brand identification.

A Pop of Color

The discussion about color in the workplace is evolving. Companies spend billions of dollars in the public domain to ensure the right colors are associated with their brand.

The trend now is to look inward to nurture the idea of brand ambassadorship. Many leading corporations are developing sophisticated color and texture design to articulate their brand to their employees in a unique way.

Color deeply affects a person’s experience of the world.

What was once considered a mere stylistic choice is now used as a tool to connect employees to the organizational brand by helping them to understand who they work for and why.

Let There Be Light

Studies show that quality of light affects people.

Natural light can protect vision, supercharge vitamin D storage, and increase productivity.

The Harvard Business Review states: “In a research poll of 1,614 North American employees, we found that access to natural light and views of the outdoors are the number one attribute of the workplace environment, outranking stalwarts like onsite cafeterias, fitness centers, and premium perks including onsite childcare.”

Building designs featuring natural light are just beginning to pop up and are becoming an important part of today’s design philosophy.

Biophilic Design

Human beings are hardwired to connect with nature and other living things.

Biophilia literally means ‘love of life’ and is a concept that describes the innate relationship between humans and nature (ie. the basic human need of a continuous connection with a natural environment.)

Over 50 empirical studies have concluded that an environment devoid of nature has a negative effect on health and well-being.

This trend brings natural elements—nature-resembling colors and patterns, indoor plants, green moss and living walls, views of greenery—into the workplace.

Old Meets New

This trend isn’t entirely new but is currently gaining more credence and is likely to continue as a popular trend in the future.

This trend focuses on working with older buildings and spaces by injecting new life into them. It means preserving the craftsmanship and history of old buildings but adding new, modern furniture and decor.

This design trend allows for an ‘aged’ feeling with quirky choices of color, texture, and decor that’s modern. Contrast is important: old vs. new; hard vs. soft; homey vs. industrial.

3. Designing for Well-Being

A corporation’s most valuable asset is its employees.

The importance of employee happiness at work has never been more evident. And it’s directly related to a company’s bottom line.

Research is constantly showing us that employees that are happy and in good health are more creative, innovative, motivated, and have better problem-solving skills.

The modern workplace is unrecognizable from what it was decades ago. Corporate headquarters redesign trends are now focused on creating a positive workplace experience for staff, with an eye to attracting and retaining quality people to work at a quality company.

There are a lot of positives in all of the design trends discussed above. The overriding emphasis of all of them is a well-being approach that provides workers with beautiful office design and functionality. The goal is to make people feel better.

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