In the 1990s efficiency meant cramming workers into small spaces while harried management focused on integrating new software and a growing workforce. Today, after several years of downsizing, upper management is spending more time looking at workflow and how office space can be better designed to enhance productivity. This comes as no surprise — according to a recent survey, the physical workplace was ranked no. 3 (after compensation and benefits) among reasons employees take or leave a job. Among the design trends highlighted in this article:
- Break areas and lunch rooms not only as perks but also to help entice employees to stay at the office;
- Space for collaboration — while offices retain cubicles, there are now more collaborating spaces to encourage teamwork and idea-sharing;
- The traditional hierarchical placement of offices is giving way to larger areas where managers work alongside others, although private rooms are often built in these areas;
- A new concern for healthy environments, with glare-free lighting, ergonomic furniture, break areas and fitness centers; and
- A new design prominence for color, leading to a bolder, brighter, happier feel.
Source: Sherri Cruz, Orange County Business Journal; Jun 30 – Jul 6, 2003