Boston, MA – December 17, 2019 – Unispace, a global leader in workplace strategy, design and construction, today released its analysis for the direction of workplace design for 2020 and the most significant trends impacting the industry. With a goal of constructing workplaces that cater to the needs of the next generation of companies and their employees, these trends are being influenced by a few fundamental questions.
First, how can workplaces help companies explore the importance of resetting expectations of where and how their people work? Second, how do you create a business-proof workplace that flexes with a changing economic and political landscape? Lastly, as the role of workspace is increasingly called into question by the rise of coworking, growth in flexible working and increase in mass media discussing the workplace, how do companies draw people back to the office and provide a compelling reason to get employees to show up ‘fully’ and play a productive role?
“The real challenge with workplace is not the space model itself or even productivity,” said Albert De Plazaola, Global Principal – Strategy, Unispace. “It’s about creating an experiential model that encourages team members to work side-by-side, to learn from one another and benefit from the co-location in a meaningful way. This is the driving motivation behind the industry’s most significant trends.”
Sharing economy – cultivating culture and experience
Tech and media companies have done a remarkable job of creating ‘fans’ and a culture of success that draws them to the brand – and high-profile headquarters are at the heart. Set out like communities with laboratories, event spaces and forums, spaces are devoted to the collective experience, to share the brand, learn and connect.
They also reflect the culture of the organization. Moving beyond the misplaced hype of workplace gimmicks such as slides or table tennis, they reflect the best side of the business, producing spaces that encourage employees to congregate and feel part of a greater whole.
Why home is so important
For city offices, leadership needs to shift their perception of the office and think of it more like home. Lifestyle must meet workplace through better food, better coffee and access to infinitely crucial nutrition. Many organizations are still getting a handle on home working and even considering bans, but workers are making this choice for a reason: it’s easier to get a variety of tasks completed in the home environment. Progressive organizations should be asking why this is the case and responding accordingly.
Blurring workstyles, sharpening choice
There is a lot to learn from the retail environment and the hospitality industry. Following their lead, designers are configuring offices to be inclusive and engaging, while giving team members a variety of different spaces dependent on what their day might require. They’re welcomed into their work environment, connected if having a meeting, and then given their own tailored experience of the space. No one meeting zone is quite the same with each serving a separate purpose and need. Offering people choice is critical to enticing them back to the corporate HQ.
The public forum
Learning from others by osmosis was a key draw to the office for previous generations. Market knowledge and experience was accumulated by time spent in the work environment and listening to those around you. The information available on the internet and the astounding number of communication channels removes physical restriction and, in many ways, makes learning environments limitless. Where does the physical workplace end and the digital one begin?
The potential for workplace to inspire learning is also a topic that should allow us to challenge misconceptions of Millennials in the work environment. There are crude assumptions made about this generation that fail to consider how inquisitive and open they can be. Millennials have had more access to data and online resources than any other generation – they have become sophisticated curators and, as such, need to be in a workspace that continues this evolutionary process.
Borderless workplaces for global businesses
Everywhere in the world, firms are looking for new, different and better ways to build closer relationships with their clients. A Unispace exploration of how the workplace can support this has resulted in a new philosophical design approach; ‘Borderless’.
A ‘Borderless’ workplace supports working with clients and colleagues anywhere in the world; across global studios and within well-designed, high-performing workplaces. It is a place of work where clients and employees alike are supported through the absolute best visitor experience, user experience, technology and wellness.
Creating bond through workplace
Good workplaces can bond employees in ways that virtual communication cannot replicate. It reconnects employees to the company and offers an organization the chance to showcase its culture. What we’re already seeing is a trend towards focusing on effective community building, a workplace that is designed with time and experience in mind. A place people want to be, not have to be. This can be achieved through impactful branding, the staging of work as an event itself and giving access to memorable moments. With more than one billion people worldwide now working remotely, why should they bother turning up to an office?
Staff need to want to be there when big moments happen – an event, a talk, a moment in time that fuses them to the brand and conveys emotional power – an experience they cannot immerse themselves in virtually. A brilliant business idea may be spawned at the coffee shop, however it’s the workplace where we share this idea with others, build consensus, make decisions and work together to turn it into reality.
“If I was going to contemplate a framework for an ‘experiential’ workplace today, no doubt the subjectivity in what it would look like would differ from individual to individual, let alone organization to organization,” added Sam Sahni, Regional Principal – Strategy, Unispace. “Like the points above, there are numerous simple aspects that are being integrated into the workplace model today which would aid teams when curating these experiences and will have a significant impact in 2020 and beyond.”
Unispace is a global strategy and design firm with integrated project construction services that is disrupting the status quo through a revolutionary approach to workplace design. Unispace works hand-in-hand with clients to understand their mission, culture, employee needs, workflow and business goals, and then uses that knowledge to design a customized workplace that maximizes productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction and health. Founded in 2010, Unispace now has 49 locations in 23 countries in North America, South America, EMEA and APAC.
Visit www.unispace.com for more information.