5 Trends That Will Influence Workspace Design In 2017

18th January 2017

To keep our clients informed, we continuously develop and follow new research in workplace design.

Our design and workspace analysis with clients and employees at the earliest stages of a relocation or refurbishment project identifies behavioural science, environmental development, change management, and technological advancements. These all have an impact on workspace design.

We find out which of these factors will have the most influence in 2017.


1. Commercial property rents

Although demand for office space was still high in the usually quiet first quarter of 2016, London businesses are increasingly being driven out of the city, due to high London rents.

With article 50 being triggered at the end of March this year, will there be uncertainty across the country? It’s anyone’s guess how those events may unfold and what impact that will have on the market economy. Downsizing or thinking more strategically about office space, location and your businesses culture over the coming years will be paramount. Smart companies will be thinking about how they can make the best use of their physical office space. Trends such as flexible working – could mean head offices may not need to be as large or centrally based.

2. Flexible working

With a transport system that can trigger anger in the sanest person commuting to and from London, those looking for a better work/life balance look to be more flexible than ever before. Mobility is crucial to today’s workforce and can help retain employees and attract new talent. Employees could be working from home, from client sites, or within co-working spaces. Hot desking areas will need to be better equipped and well thought through to provide workers’ a safe and supportive environment when they work on site.

3. Technology advancement help us communicate more effectively!

Innovation in technology will continue to transform our workspace, hours, and working practices.  With advancements such as Google Hangouts, Skype, and Slack there is no longer a need for multiple face-to-face meetings with colleagues and clients.

The need for high-quality spaces for face-to-face interaction when workers do come together will be a crucial factor to consider.

4. Workspace will need to increase productivity

Not only do businesses have a duty to use more sustainable practises throughout the workspace, A well-designed building can improve overall productivity and performance significantly.

The Sound of Productivity, a report by Dr Anneli Haake showed that 79% of people could benefit from listening to music at work. The study showed the link between music and productivity changed for different workspaces.

Yet, noise and music can be distracting when employees need focus on research, writing tasks or a creative strategy. Breakout spaces within the workplace filled with pods and furniture where one-to-one meetings can take place, or where quiet time can be taken to concentrate can be enormously effective.

5. Millennials and Generation Z VS. and ageing workforce

Millennials have become synonymous for being more risk adverse, opting to move away from the traditional ‘9-5’ and ‘job for life’ mentality for more flexibility. The up and coming Generation Z will be tech savvy, yet more serious and cautious after growing up during a time of recession and instability. Most will want to carve out a more serious and stable career.

We live longer we work longer – many of us will continue to work well beyond our official retirement age to earn money and keep our minds active and engaged. Combine an older generation of workers with millennials and generation z, and you’re looking at a very mixed group of employees. With this generational shift employers’ will need to consider engaging employees with workplaces that support different needs and wants.  Creating vibrant offices is one tactic. Providing flexibility and choices for where, when and how work happens is also critical for attracting and retaining the best and brightest people across a wide range of ages.


Call us to find out how our team at Rapport can facilitate design workshops that engage your employees across the business.

Contact Jeanette Grover on 01252 712590 or email us at info@rapport-solutions.org.uk for further information.