Remote working, in the last two years, has considerably changed the look and the functions of the contemporary office. Employees are willing to spend more time at home to carry out focus work and need for collaborative spaces in the workplace to meet colleagues and managers.
The office has been gradually contaminated by services usually found in the hotel industry, becoming a real social hub. In addition, the need to reconnect with the natural elements and the search for wellbeing for the workers, has led to the exponential growth of biophilic design, guided by the need for natural and sustainable materials. According to this new needs, here are the top 2023 office trends.
The flexible office
The word “flexibility” has been linked to the office for years. Before the lockdown it only meant “easily reconfigurable workplace”, but today it also embraces other meanings. For example the possibility, at least for few days a week, of choosing how and from where to work, or extending office hours in relation to personal needs.
Companies respond to these needs by offering coworking spaces with membership fees, which also give access to countless services, as well as shared workplaces for employees. From a design point of view, this translates into large open spaces with shared benches (separated with acoustic screens to maintain a high level of privacy) and meeting rooms equipped with video conference screens and glass partition walls.
2023 Office trends, more collaborative spaces
Today, more than ever, the office is a place where colleagues meet and share their ideas, catch up on the latest news, brainstorm and meet to check project progresses. From this point of view, the acoustic project becomes fundamental to ensure everyone’s wellbeing and avoid unnecessary distractions.
In fact, the return to the office, in some cases, has revealed the weaken point of open-spaces. They are blamed to offer less than idyllic experiences from a sound point of view, if not correctly designed.
The hotelification of the office
Massimo Gianquitto discussed the transformation of workspaces into social hubs during the 2022 edition of Salone del Mobile. This is not the only paradigm shift for the office, which increasingly “resembles” third places.
Among the neologisms related to workplaces, “hotelification” is one of the most used. Office is ever more a place of hospitality, equipped with all the comforts of a home and, in addition, with multiple services and common areas for social activities and leisure.
In terms of design, this kind of workplace enhances comfort and ergonomics of desks and seats. Here the use of armchairs and sofas grouped in small areas and the skilful use of different lighting scenarios, merged with natural light, is fundamental.
Retreat spaces, the importance of relaxation areas
With the advent of smart working, place well-defined barriers between private and professional life is becoming very hard. This is why, when it comes to designing work spaces, a clear separation between the operational areas and breakout areas stands out among the 2023 office trends.
Having moments to disconnect, alone or with colleagues, having a snack or simply a break, has become essential in the daily routine. To do this, spaces called breakout areas or relaxation areas, where comfortable furnishings welcome the employee and put him at ease, are needed.
Sofas, armchairs, coffee tables and poufs are a must in these spaces, which can also be connected to the dining area, with equipped kitchenettes and large shared tables for lunch breaks. Library areas are also very popular, as well as small corners furnished in a completely different way from the rest of the office, to provide immediate visual relief to those who pass through them, illuminated by soft lights that promote relaxation.
2023 Office trends, art in work spaces
Art at office has become a practice increasingly appreciated by both employers and employees. Furthermore, some studies have confirmed that working surrounded by art boost productivity, well-being and favors the birth of new ideas.
This is why more and more companies invest in contemporary artpieces, showing them in their headquarters, organizing exhibitions and encouraging employees to get to know the life of artists (from the most famous to the emerging ones). For years, Level Office Landscape has been promoting art in the office through events and talks to raise awareness on this practice.
Organic design and comfort
The word “comfort” is now at the top of the wishlist of companies that renovate or design their headquarters. This is why, among the 2023 office trends, we will see a great return of organic design. This definition embraces furnishings with sinuous and soft shapes and enveloping curves, which totally eliminate the edges and make work environments more welcoming.
The use of materials such as wood and fabrics with tactile textures also falls into this classification, while the most popular colors are soft and natural. Not to mention the presence of greenery and plants in the office, thanks to which workers productivity can increase up to 15%.
2023 Office trends, sustainability and reduction of emissions
Sustainability is hot topic in the field of office design. Starting with the building envelopes, increasingly attentive to favoring natural heating and cooling. This translates into considerable energy savings, as well as promoting the well-being of workers.
Recycled (or easily recyclable) materials for furnishings is the new frontier of sustainable design and have a significant impact on the company’s ecological footprint.
Brand policies are also greener than before and invite employees to embrace a more conscious lifestyle, with training courses and incentives to go to work by foot, by bicycle or by public transport. Many companies adopted plastic-free and paper-free policies at the workplace, eliminating plastic bottles, coffee cups, printers and toners.
A remarkable commitment to the planet is increasingly appreciated by contemporary professionals, who are looking for companies attentive to environmental issues.