Ahead of the BCO Conference, John Wright, Director for Office and Worklplace, gives his opinion on the ever-changing trends in office design.
Almost everything that is designed is affected by fashion and workplace design is no different. Trends come and go and thinking around what makes ‘good’ space evolves. Currently wellbeing is the ultimate buzzword, taking over from sustainability, and we should, of course, welcome change.
Who, after all, wants to go back to the days of the same grey floor tiles and metal suspended ceilings in every office building you visited?
However, a slavish adherence to any current trend risks forgetting about the fundamentals of high quality office space, namely flexibility and efficiency; high levels of natural daylight, views out and good air quality.
As products and services become more homogenous, there is an increasing reliance on ‘brand’ rather than inherent characteristics for competition and differentiation. In today’s office market, developers trying to attract tenants and occupiers competing for the best staff are offering myriad inducements which are intended to reinforce the building or company brand.
On site baristas and concierge services, yoga classes and free fruit are just some of the these that seem to be right ‘on trend’ at the moment. But ultimately, the quality of the office space – the materials, daylight, flexible spaces to provide a choice of environments and the air quality – say far more about a brand than any of these add ons and are far more likely to result in a happier workforce.
John will be attending the BCO Conference in London, 9-11 May. Use the contact details below to book a meeting with him.