What does the office of 2016 look like?

| 7 April 2016


For office managers trying to accommodate the needs and preferences of millennials, keeping up with trends can be a daunting task. Open plan is in, then it’s out. Dedicated workspaces make way for flexi-workspaces just in time for the pendulum to swing the other way.

And so employees and employers hustle and jostle to embrace the modern office, knowing the only constant is that it’s always changing. But there are some key trends that are here to stay in future-focused offices. Leading business solutions provider, Nashua, rounds up the most important office trends for 2016.

Hot desking

The concept of the dedicated desk has disappeared, replaced by a hive of hot desking. This workspace seating trend encourages movement and diminishes desktop clutter, as well as bringing bosses and team managers out of glass-windowed offices and into the general working area, amongst their teams.

Hot desking has also grown out of the need to avoid a completely sedentary work day – ‘sitting is the new smoking’ is a phrase that’s growing popularity. It’s also based on the belief that a large portion of desk space remains unused during the day as employees come and go, so having half the number of desks as employees is an economical move.

Community tables

Teamwork and integration continue to dominate office spaces. Cubicle segregation is now officially considered ‘retro’ and communal tables (often oval-shaped or round) are favourable places to set up shop.

This kind of community-minded workspace needs easily movable tech, which highlights the importance of cloud-based services and wireless hardware.

Wire hiding

Tangles of wires aren’t just an eyesore, they’re a potential safety hazard and they inhibit the user’s ability to move as and when they need. In 2016, businesses will focus on minimising spider webs of wires around the office, both with nifty wire-hiding devices and through the introduction of wireless tech – most importantly phones, printers and scanners.

Setting up Managed Print Services (MPS) allows any organisation to begin the process of reducing the number of cords in the office and establishing a wireless workspace.

Living lounges

With the rise of the mobile workspace comes the need for secluded spots employees can use to escape the bustle of the open office. Pods, nooks and breakaway rooms have become key – preferably decked out with comfortable couches and reclining work chairs. Armed with a laptop or tablet, employees can work in seclusion and hopefully, boost productivity. This is especially important for creative workspaces.

To embrace office dynamism and have employees constantly on the move, businesses need to centralise their information management, so employees can access anything they need, from anywhere in the office – hammock, armchair or stability ball – at any time of day. Managed Document Solutions (MDS) is a simple way for organisations to facilitate this change.

Office spaces are generally becoming spaces of alliance, not separation – integrated and collaborative thinking is of utmost importance. This is mirrored in the movement towards more co-operative and seamless processes, giving employees the freedom to access the information they need at the touch of a button. It’s all about dynamic flow – and some seriously cool-looking offices as a result.