2021 marks the occasion where we officially complete the second decade of the 21st century—a momentous milestone that will invite both celebration and speculation. The prevailing theme among trend-watchers and speculators will be: “What now?”, as they try and piece together what exactly the coming times will bring and how will they affect various fields across the globe.
This trend holds equal weight in the field of workplace design. It’s an emergent field that is rapidly adjusting, changing and adapting to modern trends and requirements. Great design has a profound effect on the employees—aka the most valuable resource of an organization. It is what also can be a cornerstone of a peerless culture. Hence, it has no choice but to catch up to the times. Today’s future-focused mindset sees only one direction: forward. And 2021 is set to be another year in which design continues to grow and evolve in order to help organizations flourish.
Take a look below at some key aspects in 2021 in the field of workplace design all over the globe.
Building a Sense of Community:
This has been an increasing trend in the industry for a while and will gain even further prominence in 2021. What an organization wants is a great culture—filled with people who may be diverse, but are singularly focused on its growth, alongside their own as individuals. A culture that’s productive, learning-oriented and built on mutual respect will create an unbeatable environment. One that is not only able to withstand the challenges of the future, but exceeds them. All by cultivating a change mindset, high morale, continuous learning and accountability within the employees.
A Deloitte research identified that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believed that a distinct work culture is important to business success. Among which, 83% of executives and 84% of employees rank having engaged and motivated employees as the top factor in the success. Expect this trend to be an even bigger factor in 2021—with workplace design playing a major role in its formation.
Radical Design Reinvention
The diversity in workplaces is set to increase even more in 2021. Office interiors will need to be qualified to accommodate people from increasingly different backgrounds, age groups, etc.—including Generation X, Y and Z. This task requires radical design thinking to ensure that the workplace remains incumbent to their tastes and preferences. Not only that, but it also has to provide the tools for them to grow and succeed—including technological integration, global wellness standards and yes,–comfort, convenience and flexibility.
Employees now have higher expectations of what they expect from their workplace. As quoted in an article on Security Boulevard: “The modern employee-oriented companies of 2021 will give importance to state-of-the-art office complexes, flexible working hours, remote working facilities, resting rooms, hubs for entertainment and knowledge, sports and fitness areas, leisure rooms and so on.”
It’s all about providing options that will fulfill rapidly-rising employee expectations. Modern corporate interior design will need to go a long way towards catering to those.
Continued Prominence of Co-Working
The Co-working trend is a phenomenon that has rapidly expanded over the last decade—with 2021 all set to bring about a further increase in popularity. The emphasis on building a community (mentioned above) will gain even more diversity in terms of office interior solutions. As mentioned in Coworker Magazine: “Coworking spaces are going to be favored not only among newly-born startups, freelancers, and entrepreneurs but also among larger companies.”
Co-working spaces will also, the article further states, put focus on specific fields—in order to attract people who these directly cater to. “The point of this model is to boost creative thinking and urge the atmosphere of true collaboration, aiming to increase productivity for all employees.” It further states.
A massive technological dawn is on the horizon. It has become such a vital aspect of daily functioning, that it is near-impossible to flourish and succeed without making it a central part of the operations. The Coworker Magazine article mentioned above itself states: “The year 2021 is going to be all about automation.”—predicting that both Co-working spaces and regular office interiors will offer “new alternatives to what traditional spaces can’t provide.”
Smart devices, which include motion sensors will allow regulation of light and track climate control. Meanwhile, automated technologies, like humidity sensors will maintain office temperatures to an optimal level– ensuring a healthy, clean air supply. Office interiors on the other hand, will be affected by remote automation in terms of usage—with managers using it to track the popularity of locations.
Elimination of Hierarchy
Hierarchy can sometimes (if not often) be one of the major barriers that need to eliminated in order for a culture to truly thrive. This trend is seemingly on its way out. With remote working gaining popularity, the standard hierarchical structure is all set to face massive challenges. As stated in an Inc.com article: “In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, employees will have unprecedented power. They will increasingly disregard today’s notions of hierarchy, will expect to be treated as a valuable asset to be invested in, and will require the opportunity to solve problems autonomously.”
The article further adds: “They will also be less loyal; if they aren’t learning, they are leaving.” Employees nowadays don’t just expect freedom, flexibility, wellness, altruistic ethos and growth potential from an organization—they demand it. They are the biggest resource an organization has, and their needs are all set to come front and center, in order to create a culture geared towards growth and prosperity.
As of these times, sustainability is one of the most discussed and debated topics around. And it’s a vital part of both the well-being of employees and that of the planet itself. Companies who are truly progressive in nature, handily have taken measures in adopting it towards their benefit and betterment. E27 cataloged this in their article, the ‘green building’ market in 2019 is expecting to climb from $43 billion to $69 billion. That too, only in the USA. It will chart unexpected growth frontiers all across the globe, when all is said and done.
We live in evolving times; with evolving trends, people, attitudes and thinking. As people evolve, so will the world around them. Workplaces are all set to transform radically in ingenious and creative ways—in order to help them collaborate, create and lead their organizations to cross great, uncharted frontiers.