With it nearly being the end of the financial year we are noticing that our clients’ needs are evolving therefore here are some workplace trends we predict will be popular in 2016:
Increasing Demand for Serviced Offices
Demand for desk space in Serviced Offices has risen in recent years, it contributes to around £2bn to the UK economy and since 2010, London has increased to around 1,000 serviced office locations. According to Property Week, enquiries for flexible office space increased to 21% throughout the UK whereas enquiries for non-flexible space only increased by 15%. Orega have been exploiting this demand by opening 3 new business centres in 2015 and predicted to open more in 2016.
Design Trends in Offices
Companies are organising their open plan spaces effectively in order to reduce noise and increase productivity. We are noticing a change in how our clients are fitting out their offices. They are now including stylish wall soundproofing materials that are not only functional but look contemporary and are organising the office by various sound zones. We have noticed clients are sectioning their teams by the level of noise they produce and installing glass walls to create private offices and quiet zones.
Cubicles and workstations are in decline with companies opting for non-assigned seating, standing desks and open, sharing spaces that have a more sociable feel. Companies want to promote more interaction in their office space however, they are still trying to balance this with providing privacy and alleviating noise disruptions.
We have noticed that clients are steering away from typical white walls and are wanting to incorporate more vibrant colours into their workspace. This is mostly happening in collaborative, brain storming areas to increase creativity, innovation and improve employees’ moods.
Maximising Office Space
Companies are looking to maximise the full potential of their office, using the space more effectively than in previous years. More and more organisations are providing coworking spaces or hot-desking options for freelancers in order to utilise their office space and increase functionality. This method of working reduces the number of desks and square footage needed per employee therefore lowering organisations’ costs. According to Jones Lang LaSalle by 2020 the average amount of space per employee will drop to 150 square feet, down from 400 in 1985.
Coworking spaces are particularly popular amongst start-ups, companies within creative industries and are no longer only contained in London but have now spread to other growing cities such as Manchester. They are growing more popular in Europe and we have found particularly from our clients in Brussels an increase in requirements for single person offices. We now realise that coworking spaces are likely to become a more prominent feature within our clients’ offices.
Employees are Demanding more Flexibility
No longer are the days of a straightforward 40-hour work week, employers demand additional staff time now more than ever with a recent study showing that 65% of managers expect their employees to be reachable outside of the office. More and more people state that they feel burned out due to not having an equal work-life balance. This leads to an increase in demand for more flexibility with 75% of employees ranking workplace flexibility as the most important benefit they desire. 87% of HR leaders believe that workplace flexibility programmes lead to employee satisfaction and can be used as an effective recruiting and retention tool. Employees have been reported to switch employers based on the flexible terms they provide and with an increase in coworking spaces, new technology and telecommuting it is no surprise that employers providing flexibility programmes will increase in the coming years.
Baby Boomers and Generation Z
Every day, 10,000 baby boomers retire and in the next year around 4 million baby boomers are expected to leave the workplace. Due to this, companies are seeing an increasing gap in executive job roles that the millennial generation are finding difficult to fill. With millennials eventually taking on leaderships roles it is predicted that company objectives will change to not only focus on profitability but more so on the impact that company is having on society. Whereas, Generation Z are said to be more focussed on knowing what their growth opportunities are and choosing employment with companies that are engaging and focus on offering staff encouragement. These factors mean that organisations use to working with Baby Boomers will have to quickly become extremely adaptable to the ways in which the younger generations learn and work.