Flexible workspaces continue to revolutionize the office space industry as more and more coworking spaces for rent emerge across the global. Private offices within these facilities have also begun to diversify, attracting more multinationals and even growing local companies.
With the sustained growth of the industry, 2019 looks to be an important year as flexi-spaces become more popular with the changing work landscape. Here is a look at the different flexi-space trends that will likely be implemented in the coming months.
Green Spaces in Offices
One of the most prevalent office design trends gaining popularity in late 2018 was the integration of a green space into the workspace. Green spaces are mainly implemented to improve employee wellness, as various studies have shown that greeneries inside the office can alleviate stress and help employees think better.
One study by the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment tested several subjects on crisis response, information usage and strategy in two settings: a conventional work environment and a “green” work environment. Results of the study showed that those that worked from the green environment were 97% more effective in crisis response, 172% more proficient in information usage, and 183% more strategically minded than those in the conventional setting.
Along with a shift to more environment-friendly and sustainable practices, green spaces is a welcome addition workspaces to ensure that these initiatives are accomplished.
Natural Materials in Office Design
The usage of natural materials in key areas within the workspace is a trend from 2018 that will continue to gain more traction in the coming year. Employees are more productive inside offices with green spaces, natural lighting, and areas that feature natural materials.
Humans have an innate affinity with nature, so using materials that exude natural accents, such as wood and stone are perfect for boosting the natural quality of the office space. Moreover, natural materials can also be positioned as a marketing strategy for companies who want investors and clients to know that they’re environment-friendly and observe energy efficient practices.
Natural Lighting and Outside Views
Another focus for flexible workspace for 2019 is the application of natural lighting and outside views inside the office. Not only are these factors essential for employee well-being, they are also fundamental to productivity.
Ivy Cheung and Mohamed Boubekri discovered that workers in offices with natural light had a higher quality of sleep and better productivity compared to employees in windowless offices. Meanwhile, the latter didn’t just perform at a lesser degree, they also lost more sleep at 46 minutes less than those in windowed offices.
The findings above are further supplemented by findings from Future Workplace. The HR advisory firm stated that natural light and outdoor views ranked higher on employee’s ideal office attributes, outperforming other features such as fitness centers and onsite cafeterias.
More Wellness Activities
Health and wellness are consistent focal points in the flexible workspace industry, but it looks like these factors will continue to become even more prominent in 2019. In Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends survey, the company found that despite focused corporate attention and additional investment in employee well-being, most companies still struggle with integrating wellness programs with employee expectations.
The focus for 2019 will be how companies position their programs to align with the expectations by their employees for health, wellness, and work-life balance.
As more companies allocate funds towards improving wellness in the workplace, executives and HR are also expected to work together in providing more activities and facilities geared toward better health.
Professional Development Opportunities
Sustained professional development is just as important as health and wellness to employees across the world. This year, different trends in PD and training are beginning to become even more popular.
As more Millennials continue to populate the workforce, companies are expected to integrate gamification into their training programs. This not only piques the interest of the younger generation of workers, gamification can also lead to higher levels of engagement from workers in the development program.
Traditional PD opportunities such as forums, trainings, and other activities conducive to professional growth will be more prominent in the coming year. Overall, the upcoming year is shaping up to be essential for improving not only the flexi-space environment, but the quality of life for employees worldwide.
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