2022 Workplace Trends
The workplace of today is almost unrecognisable from what it looked like 2 short years ago. Long rows of desks, employees filing in every day, and close-packed crowds were daily realities. In the time since, successive lockdowns and partial re-openings have created extraordinary levels of change in workspaces across the country.
The debate about the future of workspace will continue to rage over the coming years. There are several trends that have emerged into the general consciousness and will shape the evolution of the workspace over the next 12 months. Here, we examine 7 of the most important and how they will affect your workspace in 2022.
If there has been one constant in the workspace over the last 2 years, it has been constant transformation. Over the last 2 years, many staff have grown accustomed to having a high degree of control over their personal workstation. Whether at home or in the office, many workers had the space and freedom to customise their workspace for the first time.
These people are now reluctant to give up that control over the environment they work in. But how can you offer staff that level of control when most staff are back in the office? The answer lies in FluidSpace. This customisable design philosophy allows organisations to shape their immediate working environment to their own needs.
On a company-wide level, the system enables entire spaces to be reconfigured overnight with no new furniture. This level of flexibility gives companies the confidence they need to invest in a great workspace for their people while minimising the risks.
While sustainability is more than a current trend, it’s important to recognize the impact this will have on workplace design in 2022. With many companies re-imagining their workspace model in a hybrid world, sustainability needs to be at the heart of every project.
In 2022, sustainability is about more than going paperless. When redesigning their office, companies need to consider the environmental impact of their project. Furniture can be a key part of this. There is a wide range of sustainable furniture options that utilise ethically sourced and recycled components.
In addition to this, modular furniture systems are more sustainable than traditional fit out. When your needs change, you can simply adapt your office without having to strip out and reinstall partitions. When your business relocates, you can take it with you, further improving your sustainability credentials.
The relative ease with which staff and clients adapted to virtual communication 2 years ago came as a complete surprise for many. What is no surprise now is the importance of virtual and hybrid communication in 2022.
With some staff in the office and others at home, there is a real chance that remote workers will be less involved. To counter this, advanced technology solutions like virtual tours and even extended reality studios will be central to keeping staff engaged and involved, wherever they are.
Another area where technology can help deliver the next generation of the office is workspace logistics. Such solutions as room booking and desk booking help to manage the potential complications of hybrid working and hot desking. Touchless identification systems increase security and traceability throughout the building. This keeps staff safe while minimising surface contamination risk.
Workspace to Attract Employees
The “Great Resignation” is in full swing and many of the established perks are rendered irrelevant by hybrid working. Companies are looking for other channels to attract and retain talent. An increasingly important part of this is the office.
Creating an experiential office is set to become a major trend this year. More than making an office look cool, it focuses on everything the user will experience throughout the day. Experiential office design gives us an insight into what the office of the future will be: a destination in and of itself that your people will want to come and work in because of the experiences they can be part of when at work.
In addition, there is an increased awareness of mental health and wellbeing (and the workplace’s role in this). This has created a need for staff to feel more secure and protected than ever when at work. Companies that cater to this by developing a caring workplace and culture will benefit from improved staff engagement.
Co-working & Community Spaces
Undoubtedly, the greatest drawback of remote working has been the reduction in face-to-face interaction between colleagues. Over time, this has led to an erosion of social capital. Building a great culture has always been difficult, and a dispersed workforce has made this challenge even worse.
The key to building a great culture in 2022 will be community spaces within your office. In this age of hybrid working, your staff won't be together all the time, so it is essential to make the time that they are together count. Particularly for staff that have joined over the last 2 years, the opportunity to connect with colleagues and network internally will be of immense value to your business.
At a time when employees are under more pressure than ever, it’s crucial to provide them with the opportunity to switch off and relax when they need to. Not only is this essential for their wellbeing, but it also benefits you as a business, boosting productivity and guarding against burnout.
A key trend from last year, hybrid working is set to come of age as one of the most popular working models in 2022. Throughout all the lockdowns last year, companies and workforces never had the chance to establish a settled way of working. As the situation settles in the coming months, companies will have a once-in-a-generation chance to reset the way they work.
A key part of a successful hybrid model is the recognition that there is no “one-size-fits-all” model. To command that certain staff be in the office on certain days will stymie productivity and engagement. Ensuring your workspace and systems are set up to provide your people with the freedom to work however they perform best will be crucial to maximising the performance of your teams in 2022.
Wellbeing & Human-centric Design
As with several of the other trends on this list, the wellbeing trend is not new. This, however, is the year that will establish its influence on the workplace for a generation. The pandemic and remote working have vaulted personal wellbeing into the priorities of workers. Companies that recognise this and make this their priority will be in the best position to attract and retain talent.
Alongside this, the prevalence of technology in the hybrid working model will create a danger of becoming disconnected from colleagues. In creating a human-centred workspace, you will be ensuring that your workers feel supported and, in turn, productivity levels will heighten.
Through human-centric furniture curation and design, you can have a huge positive impact on the well-being of your people. Offering your people varied and dynamic environments to support them in their roles and considering their comfort can significantly increase their wellbeing and consequently their capability to perform.
The Workplace in 2022
The amount of change seen in workplace design over the last 2 years has been staggering. 2022 offers the opportunity to create the ways of working that will shape the next generation of workspace. Flexibility, hybrid working and sustainability will have an especially large influence on workspace design in 2022.
Never before has there been such rapid change in the way we work. Changing worker priorities, volatile economies and a pandemic all have contributed to the current situation. Companies that embrace these 7 key trends can create a working environment that maximises performance. This will put them in the best position to achieve their goals - not only in 2022 but for the rest of the decade.
In today's uncertain climate, workspace design is shifting to a new future. Companies are navigating new challenges and opportunities. With the majority of organisations assessing their real estate strategy, we can help you manage the optimisation of your existing office space or the design of your new workspace. Explore our workspace design capabilities to learn more about how we can support your furniture needs in 2022.