2019 Office Design Trends

By: Elizabeth Mixson

There has never been a better time to be in Office Design. To start, employee experience has taken on increased importance for companies looking to win the “war for talent.” As a result, they’re investing more and more in their work environments in order to attract and enable the very best employees to perform at their highest ability. Secondly, the emergence of next generation technology such as IoT, sensors and AI, amongst many others, has completely revolution the way people interact with their workspaces.  Never before have office designers and commercial real estate leaders had more tools at their disposal to build exceptional, one-of-a-kind work environments.

Based on in-depth interviews with dozens of office design leaders, we at the Future Offices Series have identified over 200+ trends currently shaping workplace design and commercial real estate in 2019. However, seeing as though our space is limited, we pinpointed the 13 biggest and baddest workplace design solutions, strategies and advancements to highlight below.

  1. Just as our lifestyle patterns make or break the success of new technology companies, the success of spaces will be grounded in their flexibility how they embrace multiuse design for our on-demand choice-driven lives.
  2. Amenities, mobility, and proximity are 3 of the top things companies are looking for when it comes to commercial real estate. In essence, tenants are looking for environments that blur work and life.
    • Cozy, comfortable, and colorful designs
    • More people nowadays in Urban environments feel more at home at work than in their apartment or residence
    • Collaboration space that is not for booking
    • Areas for relaxing / eating / lounging
    • “Innovation” space 
    • Integrating collaborative and social space into the same design
  3. However, connection is still the most important factor for creative tenants/office
  4. VR is expanding rapidly amongst the design community. Architects can “put” people in any location or scenario possible without caution or endangerment. Companies are also leveraging VR/AR to enhance employee training and branding. You can expect to see VR/AR increasingly integrated into work environments over the next few years.
  5. Office tenants expect more tech. New technology not only increases the tenants reputation nowadays, but additionally adds to the value of the office building. Don’t believe us? Just ask the New York Times.
  6. Workplace design leaders are increasingly embracing data to make better, more customer aligned office design decisions. Using IoT and sensors, companies can collect anonymous information on employee whereabouts, space utilization, meeting habits, speech patterns, and postures.
  7. Companies are increasingly building dedicated “learning spaces.” 1% of the most popular job titles in the world each year are new jobs so forward-thinking companies are now creating university-inspired spaces for training purposes to keep up with new workplace initiatives and new job titles.
  8. Human Experience over Personal Possessions. Interaction and experiences are what create a involvement, whether with coworkers, friends, or clients. Plus, Positive experiences are proven to boost productivity and innovation  As a result, corporate Real Estate is becoming less office heavy and more amenity and experience rich
  9. Architecting for Connection. Companies are increasingly looking to office design to help cultivate a sense of identity. Fully customized, individualized work environments that reflect a company’s brand, values and the local culture are becoming the norm.
  10. Balancing the need for collaboration with privacy by creating Hybrid Work Environments. The days of the pure open office are over. Companies are now just as interested in providing employees with secluded quiet areas as they are with facilitating collaboration.
  11. Flexible Working and Co-working are part of almost every single real estate strategy. This is pushing for technologies that help with remote interactions
  12. Long term leases are a thing of the past. Companies are willing to sacrifice stability for flexibility and fast growth.
  13. Mixed-Use is all the rage. Buildings are embracing re-positioning strategies that maximize space and amenities. Looking to increase space value by infusing office developments with retail stores, restaurant options., concierges, bike facilities, private terraces, bike facilities and more!

To summarize, as we move into 2019, companies are looking to implement new real estate strategies, technology and experiences within their corporate real estate to enhance the wellness and sustainability of both their employees and business, and to also tackle space utilization issues and wasted real estate. A big driver right now is bringing the real estate teams together; meaning collaboration with HR, Finance and IT. In other words, balancing design, culture, and cost.