Over the past few years work space has played an increasingly important role in recruiting and maintaining talent. While in the past office space was based primarily on headcount and efficiency – it can now be a real factor for employees’ overall job satisfaction and when deciding where to work.

“The U.S. job market has been on a hot streak and keeping workers happy at the office is one of the most important facets of retaining talent, recruiters and management experts say.”

The Wall Street Journal, “Office of the Future: More Perks, Less Personal Space

In order for companies to keep their employees happy, we have seen many new trends emerge in commercial office space design. The K2 Office Design’s article, “Office Design Trends to Watch in 2019” summarizes several key trends and we pulled together some key points from their article.

1. Workplace Experience

The priority of a positive “workplace experience” has become more important than ever for companies today. The focus on maximizing head counts and spacial layouts has transformed to designing space from the perspective of the staff and clients. Companies are focused on creating a holistic office environment with wellness and activities in the office being a perk of the job. In return companies see how this creates an environment for their employees to thrive and to attract new talent.

“This can mean hereto now items/events considered unusual in the workplace like yoga studios, massage rooms, games areas and even spaces to play music are now been introduced as elements that can positively impact the overall workplace experience.”

K2 Office Design, “Office Design Trends to Watch in 2019

2. Combining Old & New

Many old buildings and spaces are being refurbished with existing wooden beams and brickwork alongside newer trends. Open layouts with high ceilings and exposed duct work create a modern yet inviting space. We have seen this trend in downtown Portland where older spaces with exposed beams are being fitted with glass partitions for offices and conference rooms, keeping the space bright and modern.

3. Quiet Spaces

The trend towards open cubicle layouts and less formal seating has given way to more private spaces such as phone booths and smaller conference rooms. Employees can make calls or jump on a group conference call without disturbing the entire office. For those with a job that requires more concentration, companies are creating small pods or library spaces for quiet work.  A recent tenant, Sun Life Financial, who we represented in finding their new office space in downtown Portland is creating an Agile designed floor plate. This is an open design concept that incorporates spaces for any need whether it be collaboration, quiet time or an open work bench.

“…Companies are introducing not only small pods for individuals to work from when required or where they can comfortably take phone-calls or participate in video conference calls, but also library style spaces designed to ensure staff have spaces where silence and distraction is minimized.”

K2 Office Design, “Office Design Trends to Watch in 2019

Trends to Watch

Overall we believe these office trends are here to stay as companies compete to recruit and keep their employees content. We do anticipate companies enhancing the overall Workplace experience in new ways. A trend towards outdoor work space, areas with more natural light and even indoor garden areas.

“The office design trend of bringing the nature indoors continues as more and more organizations add shrubbery and plants to their offices, as well as green moss and living walls.”

K2 Office Design, “Office Design Trends to Watch in 2019”