Top 10 Office Design Trends That Will Shape Workplaces in 2022
By Team Altus
Published May 22, 2020
| Updated Sep 19, 2022
| 5 min read
As COVID-19 travels around the world, the future of office space design and layout will be altered in this new era of social distancing.
There has been a large number of discussions among office industry leaders on how to update office spaces, and what to expect in the coming years. At Altus, we specialize in computer workstations to make the time at work more comfortable. We took note of the biggest office design trends and how to tailor our workstations to better suit office life.
From new social distancing spaces to home offices, offices are experiencing new trends like never before. Read on to learn the 10 office design trends businesses will be using in their spaces for 2022.
Trend #1: Flexible Workspace
One of the most obvious changes is telecommuting and virtual meeting rooms. As employees stop traveling to different areas, some working remotely, and others needing the space to conduct virtual meetings, office space will need to change their spaces accordingly. Bringing a bigger focus to optimized spaces built for video calls, and technology to support a mobile staff is where office spaces are heading.
When working on location, office workers will need a designated space with soundproof walls, privacy, and few distractions so they can virtually meet with other team members and have a productive space for meetings. They also need flexible seating arrangements to accommodate different work styles, needs, and productivity.
Office desks with wheels can transform any office by allowing employees to bring their work from room to room or stow away when unneeded to save space. They can also be taken with the employee back to their home office to offer more flexibility for the days they’re working remotely.
Virtual teams rely on web-based productivity and collaboration tools. To deliver a meaningful and impactful virtual experience, offices need to provide adequate tools such as a web-based platform to work simultaneously and a virtual stand with a webcam that can show the entire room and whiteboard.
Trend #2: A Focus on Ergonomics
Working from home gives employees a high degree of comfort when they report to the office, such as wearing what they are most comfortable in and even working from the comfort of their bed or couch if they wanted.
With many companies transitioning their employees to be working in a hybrid schedule, having the office be as comfortable as at home is increasingly important. The office design trend that has exploded to match is, is focusing on ergonomic workstations in the office. Height-adjustable desks allow the employee to work sitting or standing and that can help create a positive experience. These allow employees to choose the most comfortable position while alleviating pressure on their spine so they don’t feel strain while working.
Trend #3: Touchless Workplace
In the aftermath of the pandemic, keeping office spaces clean and free from any viruses is important to keep employees safe. Shared equipment, kiosks, digital whiteboards, and computers will shift from needing to physically be touched for sign-ins to being motion activated or using an RFID badge to open a door or choose a folder, to eliminate the need to physically touch a screen, button, or handle.
Trend #4: Office Cleanliness
COVID-19 has sent every organization to reevaluate and improve their cleaning procedures. Offices will not only see an increase in janitorial services but will focus on a better flow to encourage cleanliness. This includes better cleaning protocols, equipment that can withstand cleaning solutions, and cleaning stations at every intersection. This encourages employees to wipe down their workspace, and their hands every time they pass a section.
Trend #5: Voice Technology
Along with the transition to motion-activated technology in offices, voice-activated technology will see the same levels of popularity in 2022. Offices will design their space around having the ease of voice activation.
Employees can unlock offices, schedule meetings, book a conference room, and even order lunch with just their voice. It makes mundane tasks easier and allows employees to focus on their tasks at hand rather while also creating a positive work environment.
Trend #6: Configurable Furniture
As offices begin to shift away from high-density open layouts to prevent the spread of infection, there is a need for furniture that can be configured easily and quickly. A mobile desk with a small footprint is a good solution for employees to bring their laptops from room to room and stow them away when not in use. With no more unassigned seating arrangements, a dedicated lightweight piece of furniture for each employee will help provide a better experience while also giving employees the autonomy to work where they feel comfortable even in an office.
Trend #7: Food Delivery
Many employees that are in the office will order more food delivery as they’ve become accustomed to it during the stay-at-home orders. In the past, the majority of companies did not have a formal food delivery process. The future of office design will be included cubicles in the lobby or lockboxes in the front of the building to support contactless delivery. Its likely on-site food services such as workplace cafeterias will become less important to employees.
Trend #8: Personal Devices
Offices will not only move away from shared spaces but give employees a dedicated workspace to host their height-adjustable computer desk. Having an office that is configured to allow one desk and workstation per employee lowers the chance of viruses spreading, and allows employees to be as organized as they need without fear of something disappearing after another employee has used it.
Trend #9: Facial Recognition
As employees go back to the office, facial recognition software and equipment can increase security and save on resources.
Requiring no action from the employee, facial recognition can grant employees access to the building and data track for not only crime purposes but can help track a virus path.
Facial recognition software identifies who is coming in, learns their behaviors, and eventually can set up automation. When AI learns employee preferences, it can improve the employee experience by adjusting the lights, ergonomics, and temperature as soon as the employee walks down the hallway or enters the room. This leaves the chance to save on resources – by shutting down rooms or entire floors when there are no employees present.
Trend #10: A Focus on Wellness
Office design in 2022 will focus on employee wellness first and efficiency second. Instead of offering an onsite gym and health food options, offices will start looking at healthy workspaces and technology.
Office leaders and builders will focus on lighting, materials, homey touches, and colors to create an optimally healthy environment that makes employees feel safe, comfortable, and productive.
Office design will emphasize ergonomic furniture and equipment to help people perform tasks and work healthier. It has also been found in a study done by Texas A&M that people working at a standing desk are 46% more productive than when they work at traditional desks. Ergonomic furniture offers employees a way to stay productive while being healthy and comfortable. In 2022 offices will adopt more ergonomic furniture to create a healthier space.
The Future of Work Facts & Figures
Global Workplace Analytics estimates that "25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week."
In a Bay Area Council Survey taken by top executives, 89% are planning at least partial remote-work policies.
Facebook estimates it will be half remote by 2030.
In 2022 and beyond, office designs are trending toward flexibility. They’re matching the comfortability employees experience at home while also tailoring the space to match the work needs of everyone in the build.
To keep up with these trends businesses will implement more open spaces and ergonomic mobile computer desks. Contact Altus to learn more about standing desk options, and how they can transform your business workflow.