3/3: Corporate Design Trends Explained

Page Principal Wendy Dunnam Tita recently attended the 2015 Colorado Real Estate Journal Commercial Interior Architecture & Design Conference to participate on a panel about the “Emerging Trends in Commercial Interiors”. In order to more fully explain the current design climate she focused her segment of the presentation on the “Whys behind the Trends”. While there are many reasons behind office and real-estate changes in corporate design, these three offer significant explanations for recent trends emerging in the workplace.

We understand the Human Brain better than ever. Solid studies show that our physical environment can greatly affect our health and productivity. The more we understand this information, the better we become at addressing:

  • Light - lower light levels increase creativity
  • Acoustics – the correct ambient noise levels increase productivity
  • Ceiling Height - higher ceilings increase creativity, lower ceilings increase focus
  • Temperature - higher than office norm temperatures increase creativity
  • Distractions - each time we are interrupted our accuracy and productivity decrease
  • Relaxation - a relaxed mind is a productive mind, which is part of the reason hospitality design is influencing the workplace. It’s also reason to focus on the important topic of wellness.

Generational Differences Matter. Millennials are influencing the workplace.

  • The formal conference room is not seen in the same light (engagement vs dis-engagement is important)
  • Smaller footprints for individual work space work when support spaces increase in frequency and variety
  • Hospitality matters
  • Physical comfort is a priority to younger generations (they grew up working in coffee lounges)
  • Interaction with peers is important
  • Having a choice matters

Technology is Catching Up

  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – more people are bringing their own device and using technology platforms that work best for them
  • Documents that can be edited simultaneously in a virtual workplace are taking the place of whiteboards and set a new format for simultaneous idea sharing.
  • Multiple platforms can be used simultaneously. Employees can conduct meetings and develop a connection with remote colleagues by combining conference tools and social media. Studies show having a friend at work is still one of the greatest predictors of employee retention!

Contributed By

Wendy Dunnam Tita