Looking back, 2016 saw a huge shift in how we all work. Employees gained flexibility and were given a voice to say where, when and how they would like to work, previously this had only been an option for those working at home or business owners. As outlined in our previous blog, this has led to flexible workspaces, hot desking and team meeting points.
So where will 2017 take us?
In short. I have no idea, but I have pulled together a few things I think you should be keeping an eye out for in the next 12 months.
It started to emerge in last 2016, but in 2017, I really think this trend will take flight. I’m not talking about a few woolen fabrics dotted around in soft seating. I mean crushed velvets screenprinted with bespoke pattern, vast wall panels of cotton fluff or carpets replaced with grass like matting. OK the above may be a little on the extreme side for a medium business outside of the capital, but it doesn’t mean we can’t embrace it too. The great thing about this trend is you can future safe it. You can keep with neutral, muted or corporate colours and still gain a great effect by switching up the texture. The extra dimension of mix and matching your fabrics, finishes and wall covering textures, is you environment suddenly becomes much warmer and softer. And as we have been told so many times before, better environment means happier staff. It’s fantastic for sound reduction too!
Back to the office
In the last ten years there has been a huge influx of employees wanting to work from home, increase flexibility, lower noise levels and much fewer distractions, it’s understandable why it was a preference. Looking forward though, the office is a very different place, relaxed dress codes, flexitime, lunch perks, and team interactions very much encouraged, will employees be drawn back outside of their home offices? I think so. As much as just can see the comfort of home being a big selling point, there is now so much more awareness of stress in the workplace. If your workspace is the place you sleep, eat, work, socialise, can you really ever switch off? Paperwork on the kitchen table, folders in the living room or a laptop in the bedroom, it think 2017 will bring those back to the workplace that would like their home back!
At home, we are in control, but when it comes to work, you adapt to your surroundings. Ham salad sandwiches everyday made in a rush, water when you remember to go to the water fountain, take a walk only when you need the bathroom and what is this air you speak of?! The office is getting smarter as a reaction to what it takes to make us comfortable, in order to work more efficiently and enjoy our time at work. I think 2017 will bring us welcome packs with fitbits, company water intake trackers, communal water jugs with fresh fruit , further exercise and eco awareness incentives or competitions. Its about time that we realised we do not live to work and that our bodies and looking after ourselves comes first. As an employer, retention rate is key and can be easily influenced by having a happy and healthy workforce. As an employee, start making conscious decisions that will ensure your wellbeing not just abiding to every impossible deadline. This is one that will take a while to settle in and may take some time to notice the results of.
Anything to add to my list, or perhaps you see 2017 going a completely different direction, let me know your thoughts!