Top 7 Trends in Office Buildings
Commercial buildings have witnessed many changes in recent years, primarily focusing on energy efficiency and the hybrid workforce. Modern office design elevates employee experience to supercharge productivity and prevent burnout while helping businesses become more sustainable.
That won’t change in 2024. However, experts believe employee well-being, productivity, collaboration, and sustainability will take center stage when designing workplaces. Here are the top commercial design trends that will adorn contemporary offices in 2024.
1. Flooding Spaces With Natural Light
The more natural light enters a space, the calmer and more inspiring its atmosphere becomes. Imagine an office with window walls (floor-to-ceiling windows), breaking the barrier between the interior and exterior. Now compare it to an office with traditional windows. It can’t come close to the open elegance of glazed walls.
Businesses increasingly implement solutions to flood spaces with natural light. Some examples are commercial skylights, window walls, and glass panels to separate workspaces. Besides looking sleek, they make employees feel welcome and boost their motivation, creativity, well-being, and happiness.
We all need that vitamin D, right?
2. Embracing Biophilic Design
Implementing biophilic design into the workplace means helping employees connect with nature. It blurs the lines between the urban environment and natural surroundings, making any space inviting and awe-inspiring.
However, it goes beyond placing plant pots around the office. It means adding green walls (with living greenery), rooftop gardens, shrubs along stairwells, water features like ponds or fountains (where applicable), and natural materials like stone and wood. It’s about giving a shout-out to the outdoors and cultivating nature’s relaxing qualities to make the workplace more calming.
The best part? Biophilic design doesn’t need to be expensive. Still, a productivity boost and reduced employee stress make it worth it.
3. Developing Breakout Zones
Breakout areas in the workplace aren’t a new trend. However, they’re getting an upgrade, with forward-looking businesses creating multiple zones for employees to relax and connect.
One breakout room no longer cuts it. Employees need a quiet place to recharge their batteries and multifunctional spaces to exchange ideas and experiences while grabbing a bite. Some examples are a kitchen that allows for mingling and a spacious lounge for company-wide updates.
A game room and wellness options like a fitness center are also excellent ideas. They may seem like an unnecessary expense, but they bring incredible rewards. Besides inspiring happy and engaged employees, they foster team-building, communication, and collaboration.
4. Designing Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor spaces are among the top trends in commercial architecture. Commercial developers have their hands full designing office gardens, rooftops, and other outdoor spaces with seating areas for relaxing or collaborating on projects.
Office buildings will increasingly embrace it in 2024. Whether redesigning or building from scratch, they’ll reimagine the workplace with outdoor spaces to help employees unplug, brainstorm, and enhance team-building. After all, it combines several emerging trends into one.
5. Implementing Acoustic Design Features
Most modern offices have an open-floor layout. It fosters communication and collaboration, maximizes flexibility, and sparks creativity. Let’s not forget it’s aesthetically pleasing and cost-effective.
However, it isn’t without challenges. Although a massive improvement from soul-sucking cubicles, an open floor plan increases distractions. From the constant buzzing of electronic devices to all the chit-chatting, the noise level can kill motivation and productivity.
That’s where acoustic office design comes into play. For instance, acoustic panels and carpets absorb sound waves, making them fantastic for open-floor offices. Sound-absorbing screens can dampen sound between zones, and their ceiling and wall counterparts can reduce noise transmission through rooms.
6. Focusing on Sustainability
The demand for green commercial buildings keeps rising with the growing awareness of increasing carbon emissions and our role in reducing them.
Many commercial buildings implement eco-friendly solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. Besides increasing energy efficiency by allowing more natural light, they use LED lighting, HVAC systems, upcycled furniture, green appliances, reusable coffee cups, and sustainable construction materials.
The most forward-looking companies implement renewable energy sources like solar panels. They may be expensive to implement, but the long-term energy and cost savings (besides the lower carbon footprint) make them worth every dime.
7. Integrating Technology into Workplace Design
Technology is indispensable in the modern workplace, but many commercial buildings are already taking the integration to the next level. The most notable trend involves innovative lighting.
For instance, energy-efficient occupancy sensors turn off lights when nobody is in a room. Similarly, light-activated motion sensors are excellent for security, turning on lights when they detect movement.
Other examples include voice-activated elevators, contactless building access control with biometric door locks, intelligent water conservation systems, and HVAC systems for optimizing air quality and humidity.
These commercial design trends lead to an eco-friendly future where carbon neutrality might be within reach. It’s time to stop hoping and start acting. Embrace them and reduce your environmental impact while creating an inspiring workplace culture that attracts and retains employees.