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Three office trends to watch in 2017

By Callan Sherrod

Callan Sherrod

If you’re contemplating relocating your company to a new office or renovating your existing space, you may be wondering about what type of design elements to consider that accurately reflects your company culture and office environment, while adhering to the latest trends. While there’s no one-size-fits-all option, our latest blog lays out three trends that will help guide your search for a new office in 2017.

Catering to millennials

While 2017 marks the first full year that Generation Z is in the workforce, millennials still make up the majority of American workers. As millennial workers are being promoted into management roles, office space will need to adapt to the expectations of this growing workforce. So how can your company create an office space that’s considered millennial-friendly? Millennials appreciate companies that give back to the community, and visually representing the goals and culture of the company and how it contributes to the community will display the sense of purpose that these employees strive for each day.  While this strategy for office design can go in many different directions depending on your company, it is a solid foundation on which to base your office space moving forward.

Secondly, millennials like to have options. Offices with diverse settings for collaboration and privacy, along with innovative individual workstations, will help empower workers with a sense of autonomy and flexibility.

Additionally, built-in office perks can go a long way with millennial employees. Offices don’t need to be over-the-top with game rooms in every corner, but adding easily accessible outdoor areas such as an outdoor break room, or an entertaining hospitality bar can help set your company apart when trying to recruit top talent.

Offices are getting smarter

Technology has long been changing the way people work, and the same can be said for the foundational aspects of an office. As technology evolves, having an office with the ability to easily and quickly adapt to these changes is key to keeping your business on the cutting edge.

The fact is that all offices are getting smarter. Whether it’s the availability of wireless internet access points throughout the office, cables that transmit high-definition resolution, touch screen monitors, or helpful management tools that control everything from lighting, meeting room reservations, or calendar invites, an office that can host these kind of tech-savvy capabilities will have no problems gaining tenants.

An open office isn’t always so awesome

Technology-focused companies like Google and Facebook were some of the first major companies to pioneer the open-office layout. This trend quickly caught on and a variety of companies, both large and small, followed suit and drastically changed their office layouts to match. The idea was to foster an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration, but what many companies didn’t realize was that a creative and collaborative office culture needed to be in place first before modeling an office design around those components. In many cases, the change in office design left many employees who had been used to more enclosed, private quarters feeling left out in the open with no privacy.

Rather than take a comprehensive approach to the open-office layout, designate certain areas of the office for an open layout that creates a sense of collaboration. That way, employees will be able to seek privacy within their own individual work spaces and still have access to collaborative, team-centered areas of the office at the appropriate times.