7 Ways to Tailor Workspaces to Ever-Evolving Workplace Trends


When employees at Google were asked to rank their favorite things about working there, the games and perks weren’t the biggest lures. It’s the high wages that Google employees earn, averaging nearly three times the national median wage at $140K per year. It’s providing three free gourmet meals a day for employees. It is weeks of vacation time and company trips and holiday parties that are out of this world.

Workplace Trends are Evolving in 2018

This year, LinkedIn’s survey found Google’s parent company, Alphabet, at the top of the list with Amazon and Facebook taking the number two and three spots. The study also revealed what employees really think is important – company culture.

On that score, the leading factors were pay, environment, a team-oriented culture, and diversity. In fact, a recent study by Spacestor showed that 86% of employees feel that on-site basketball courts and ping pong tables are not as important as company values and “functional” workspaces that improve their ability to do their jobs.

This year’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate report by Urban Land Institute and PwC concurs. Here are 7 ways to tailor workspaces to meet those trends.

7 Ways to Tailor Workspaces to Meet Workplace Trends

Some predict that half of the workforce over the next decade will be remote, working as contractors or work-from-home employees. For large companies like Google and Facebook, it’s not possible to have a largely remote workforce. Many still need to employ and retain top talent at the office but how? The emphasis now is trending toward more perks and office designs that increase productivity and produce a positive work environment and culture.

#1: Provide Spaces for Collaboration and Privacy

Collaboration sparks creativity while sometimes a little peace and quiet is what employees need to focus on a project. Tearing down walls and creating areas for chance encounters and informal meetings is one of the biggest workspace trends in 2018. However, adding in places for privacy cannot be overlooked, giving employees more flexibility and tailoring the workspace to different needs.

#2: Add More Greenery and Light Design Options

Increasing productivity can be achieved with a very simple idea – add more greenery and sunlight. According to the American Psychological Association, by adding more plants and sunlight, employees become 15% more productive.

#3: Design Flexible Workspaces

Mobile desks and standing desks have been trending for the last year. A newer trend in workspace design focuses on fostering face-to-face communication and collaboration. One way to do that is to make every seat bar stool height so that when the boss comes to chat with an employee, no one is in a position of power; even when sitting, employees are on equal footing speaking eye-to-eye with their superiors and coworkers.

#4: Take Advantage of Smart Office Technology

Technology of course is crucial to helping employees do their jobs more efficiently. Another workplace trend is using that same technology to improve the workplace environment, allowing employees to customize their individual spaces by controlling temperature, lighting, noise levels, etc.

#5: Make Remote and Contract Workers Part of the Team

While large businesses will need to retain the majority of their workforce at their physical offices, there will still be a need for remote and contract workers. One way to improve employee culture is to foster team spirit and that includes employees that work off-site; just because they are not there physically doesn’t mean that they should be left out of the same perks and positive work culture that office workers experience.

#6: Incorporate Diversity in Office Design

Demographic changes will continue to influence the workplace of the future. PwC suggests that in the same way that the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) made the workplace more accessible to employees living with disabilities, office design will need to account for the new workforce. That includes providing gender neutral bathrooms and increased racial and gender diversity at the executive and management level.

#7: Embrace New Co-Working and Office-Sharing Models

Co-working and office sharing over the last several years has focused more on the benefits for companies looking to save money on overhead. Many studies show that co-working spaces are growing faster than any other office design this year but now the purpose is to enhance collaboration and encourage “serendipitous encounters.”