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Office Space Trends to Attract and Retain Talent

Stunning office spaces help charm new clients or impress visitors, but innovative work spaces also attract talent, improve employee morale, and ultimately contribute to talented employee retention. 
On average we spend one-third of our day at work, but the work experience doesn't have to be a negative one.  A well-designed workplace can inspire employees daily, keeping them engaged and energized so they can be more productive. 
 
The following is a synopsis of current office design trends, originally presented through Herman Miller's Living Office Digital Magazine.1
 
From Oversized Conference Rooms to Precision-Fit Meeting Spaces
            Traditional Floor Plan:            10 conference room seats
            Emerging Trend:                     7 meeting space seats
Traditional large conference rooms are often underutilized.  Reclaim this underutilized space and redistribute it throughout the office to make room for smaller, more purposeful settings and connective spaces.
 
From Required Circulation to Desired Connection
            Traditional Floor Plan:            33% Circulation Space
            Emerging Trend:                     47% Connective Space
Circulation space can be purposefully planned with people’s needs, experiences, and activities in mind to become active connective space. 
Reduce the number of private offices, large conference rooms and underutilized assigned workstations.  By reclaiming under-used space, growing companies can expand their employee base without the need for costly building additions or business relocation.
 
Consider sightlines and adjacencies between key areas of activity to facilitate information sharing and relationship building between people and teams.
 
From Distant Breakrooms to Central Plazas
            Traditional Floor Plan:            16 people per breakroom seat
            Emerging Trend:                     4 people per plaza seat
Create large, centrally located plaza settings.  These vibrant communal spaces provide plenty of comfortable seating, amenities, and company branding artifacts that help people feel more engaged, connected with coworkers, and in touch with the broader purpose of the organization.
 
A brand's power lies in its recognitions and trustworthiness.  A workplace that is designed to express unique purpose and character can strengthen both.
 
From Standard Conference Rooms to a Variety of Group Settings
            Traditional Floor Plan:            1 standard group space
            Emerging Trend:                     6 purposeful group settings
Create workplaces with a variety of settings, each specifically designed to support different people and their work.  In these offices, people have better support for their work, and the organizations are making optimal use of their space.
 
From Assigned Seats to Shared Workpoints
            Traditional Floor Plan:            97% assigned workstations
            Emerging Trend:                     41% unassigned workpoints
Technology has allowed people to work anywhere in or out of the office, and up to 60% of the time individual workstations are unoccupied.  Create shared workpoints throughout the office to give people the variety they need to do a range of individual activities.  This does not mean that assigned workstations aren't still appropriate for some people and some work, but shared workpoints make better use of space and provide better support the for the way most people are working.
 
More people are working remotely and not at their desks.  In the workplace, mobility may require more “unassigned” or touchdown space for individuals who are out of the office for a significant portion of the day.  Organizations also need flexible space for employees who might be visiting from another floor, building, or campus.2
 
From Privacy-as-a-Luxury to Privacy-on-Demand
            Traditional Floor Plan:            67 people per private space
            Emerging Trend:                     24 people per haven
Everyone needs access to a variety of supportive settings, including places for people to work independently.  Research shows that private offices are unoccupied 77% of the time; these can be turned into haven settings, where anyone can work in privacy.
 
For more information on the project pictured in this article, click here.
 
The workplace can engage employees by acting as a communication tool that aids in celebrating individual or team contributions, broadcasting organizational goals or objectives, and providing spaces for effective collaboration. 
 
In your effort to attract and retain talent, consider investing in your office layout to create a vibrant workplace that will attract top talent.  Providing flexibility and choices for where, when, and how work happens is critical for attracting the best talent.
 
 
 
1          Herman Miller Living Office Digital Magazine:  http://www.hermanmiller.com/solutions/living-office/living-office-digital-magazine.html?
 

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