With the last few years in the rearview mirror, those of us in the office design world are watching with intrigue to see the coming new vision for office workspaces.
Only five years ago, the shift to “gathering” spaces in office design was the focus. The focus was on comfort first and making an office environment look and feel as familiar as home as possible. With more casual lounge furniture, high surfaces, natural materials, and clean and minimalist colours, workspaces were becoming cozy places to round up our teams who would enjoy thinking, brainstorming, and building a community culture together.
Fast forward to 2023. With the aftermath of the pandemic, the advancing technologies that continue to release us from set desks, exciting new furniture styles, and new customer needs, trends continue to shift.
In this two-part series, we will outline four trends in office design you will want to consider for your workplaces in the coming year and dive deep into how to meet the needs of employees and customers in today’s workplace world. In this segment, we see the rising office trends for 2023 focused on Workplace Partitions, Privacy and Minimalism.
Partitions and Privacy
After years now of pivoting to create a feeling of safety in our spaces, office design desires continue toward attractive and practical options for providing segmentation and the need for privacy. Glass walls and desk separations are valuable in supporting work styles that require quieter environments in order to be productive and undistracted.
Glass walls give a feeling of openness but support muffling the acoustic elements that were an issue in open spaces in the past. Distractibility is a thing, so tranquil workspaces offer benefits for the functionality and productivity of workers, privacy for conversations and successfully improve operations.
The benefits of glass walls are not only a modern look for offices, but they make a small space feel more spacious and offer far more light than traditional walls or cubicles. The transparency of glass walls accomplishes privacy but being able to see who is in the office and what they are doing enriches the sense of community and security. Let’s face it; seeing other people around you feels less lonely! It can be comforting and revitalizing. We are seeing lots of glass walls with black trim (vs silver) in our 2023 trends, which look fabulous!
And if you feel it is a little too transparent at times, unique mobile dividers and curtains are becoming popular to divide spaces and make room-like spaces when additional privacy is needed as well. Phone booths that hit the office design trends five years ago are even more useful, available, and better suited for zoom calls and virtual meetings.
With more hotelling and the temporary “hot desk” styles now in play, productive people are thriving in offices without all the paper storage, miscellaneous items and clutter we used to see in every cubicle in the past. As the world continues to become paperless and with increased sharing of spaces, employees are experiencing the zen of minimalism.
Larger meeting table spaces per person are expected for comfort and more room to walk around desks, creating undistracted work. And it appears people certainly seem to be attracted to the extra calmness in today’s world.
By extension, office furniture trends are also simpler with cleaner designs, further enhancing the feeling of minimalism and space. Smooth lines and simple styles are the favoured choices right now.
In Office Trends 2023 – Part 2, we will look more closely at the themes of casual and cozy spaces that enhance connection, along with the impact of hybrid office spaces. We want to work with you to adapt ergonomic trends compatible and possible with working from home and in-office designs.
If your office space needs some updating or refreshing to be ready for the trends of 2023, we would love to help.
Connect with our atWork team to start planning offices that will work for you, now and in the future.
Contributing writer Kim Hussey is the creative energy behind The Write View, Cambridge, Ontario.
You can find her enjoying nature or writing from her heart. Go to kimhussey.com to read ways The Write View supports your writing needs.