404-919-8470 info@atldigi.com

ATL
Digi

Atlanta
Digital

 

ATL
Digi

Atlanta
Digital

 

By Facility Executive
From the February 2024 Issue

 

Now that the pandemic is four years behind us, organizations are calling employees back to the office — including JPMorgan Chase, Amazon, Blackrock, Disney, and many more. A report from Resume Builder found that 90% of companies plan to implement return-to-work policies by the end of 2024. Astonishingly, in a survey from EY, the number of U.S. respondents reported that nearly full-time remote work has plummeted from 34% in 2022 to 1% in 2023.

While the prevalence of full-time remote work has decreased, many companies are open to seeing employees in the office three-to-four days a week, instead of requiring the full five-day work week. Offices are recognizing that, after a taste of remote work, many individuals prefer hybrid work, and the ability to easily step out for a doctor’s appointment or to pick up their child from school, etc.

Workplace Trends, Office Spaces
(Source: Adobe Stock / AI by VERTEX SPACE)

 

On the other hand, some companies want all employees to return to the office five days a week. Although, doing so might make an organization less competitive when it comes to the labor market, and applicants may turn down job opportunities without the chance for a hybrid work schedule.

That being said, facility executives have to consider these questions: Should all employees come in for the full work week, or just a few mandatory days? Should we bring cubicles back? How will artificial intelligence (AI) impact the future of workplace design? Can offering trendy amenities and a stylish workspace to lure employees back into the office, and make them want to stay?

Now, while inflation has slowed down, price pressure has remained and organizations have to be mindful of their budgets. It’s critical for organizations to choose wisely when it comes to office improvement investments.

Here are a few trends shaping office spaces in 2024 to consider for your office spaces:

The Rise Of Flexible Workspaces

Employees that come into the office reportedly prefer having access to different work points — separate areas to focus on deep work, private rooms for meetings, areas to relax for a moment, and spaces to socialize. Gensler’s recent study on workplace trends in 2023 revealed that respondents believed office spaces could be improved by offering different types of work areas — ones that give individuals the ability to have time away from the rest of the office.

Some Office Spaces Are Expanding, Not Shrinking

While larger companies have reduced their office spaces since the emergence of remote/hybrid work, smaller- to mid-sized companies have done the opposite.  According the survey from EY, companies with 250 to 5,000 employees showed the highest percentage (51%) of adding new office space in the past two years. The same report shows that larger companies are continuing to reduce their office footprint, and are using strategies such as hoteling and hot desking when hybrid employees come into the office.

EY’s research found that hybrid models tend to be easier for larger companies to maintain, while smaller-to mid-sized companies suffer when it comes to remote collaborative efforts.

Bringing Back Chats By The Water Cooler

As companies recognize the importance of employee engagement and retention, there’s an understanding that the office has an ability to foster connection, collaboration, and productivity in employees. The Gensler report reveals that employees themselves are looking to spend more time with coworkers and foster those relationships.

Sustainable Office Design

A Sustainable Approach To Office Design

The integration of remanufacturing and WELL principles are poised to shape the future of office design in 2024 and beyond. Read more…

An Appreciation For Biophilic Design

This is not a new trend; over the past few years, research on Biophilic design has proven to help support employee wellness and productivity. This is a commitment to sustainability as well, and can demonstrate to employees that this is something the company values. In terms of design, there’s a lot of cool ways to incorporate this greenery into spaces; coming into an office with green spaces is stylish—and in an Instagrammable world, it can go a long way.

How Technology Can Improve The Office

More organizations are seeking out technical solutions to improve their office environments, both to improve the experience in the space and to cut down on costs. Occupancy sensors to determine the amount of people in a given space, and using building automation systems to regulate energy usage continues to be in focus. With the emergence of AI, there is more potential for automation, but it is still at the early stages. Time will tell how AI will make more of an impact in office environments.

References

Do you have a comment? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below, or send an e-mail to the Editor at jen@groupc.com.

Check out all the recent Trends feature articles from Facility Executive magazine.

Facility Executive Magazine