More and more office spaces are going under the knife, primarily to bring in efficiency in any organisation’s real estate portfolio. Also, as a by-product the workspace is getting transformed into open, collaborative and innovative work fronts, where the new generation is enthused to sit and work through long stretches.
Workplaces today are trending more towards open and flexible environments. In many organizations, open dynamic spaces contribute directly towards a positive change in work processes and office culture. We surveyed more than 50 companies from various industries such as IT/ITeS, BFSI and Healthcare etc. located in major cities in India to identify the latest trends in terms of design, area, furniture and accessories among corporate occupiers. What we found was almost 80% of our respondents preferred to have open layouts for offices. At the same time, it was also agreed that the nature of work greatly influenced the choice between an open plan and an enclosed office plan. However, it is evident that there has been a general shift from closed office plans to open office culture, although we see the transition in some sectors to be slower than their contemporaries.
Collaboration is the name of the game, today. Recent trends observed in India include opening up of floor plans, introduction of more trendy & functional break out areas and cafes, which double up as meeting spaces and promote dialogues between employees. These directly improve an office’s productivity through inclusion & exchange of ideas from areas beyond your cubicle. Even Decision makers are proactively modifying their workplaces in order to foster creativity, teamwork, employee retention and productivity. The new emerging trend among the senior management is about moving to a more open workstation culture. They are even sharing cabins with more space for guest seating to meet their functional requirements.
While the importance of collaborative spaces is completely agreed upon; the need for quiet and private spaces is also a fundamental requirement for most organizations. The need for silent spaces is fulfilled through individual work booths or separate conference rooms. Almost 67% of our survey respondents we spoke with were in favor of open environments that are complemented by both open collaborative work spaces and enclosed dedicated conference rooms.
Another key driver to achieve optimum ROI and cost efficiency is proficient space utilization of office space, though not at the cost of functionality and collaboration. The most favored typology that we foresee among occupiers is still the L-shaped workstation, for their overall functionality. Linear layout is also trending due to its efficiency in space density; though earlier it was primarily used in the service industry like KPO’s & BPO’s or call centers, but now the consulting & the BFSI sectors are also modestly moving towards this layout. While many companies in pursuit of using workspace more efficiently, are also using “hot-desking” where multiple workers use a single physical work station during different time periods.
More and more organizations are becoming considerate towards employee comfort and healthy work habits and therefore the traditional workspaces are giving way to their new designed successors. However, the transition in some sectors is reported to be quite slow.
So, while every office space is moving towards their unique branding and design strategies, creative workspace is growing its niche into every designer’s office. With innovative design zones and comfortable furniture, offices are becoming the new thing to do. Are you ready to ‘work’ your workplace out?
About the author
Saurabh Singh, leads the Design & Build (turnkey) portfolio for Colliers Project Management in India. He is an Architect with a specialisation in building engineering & management. At Colliers, Saurabh has been working closely with clients to create workplaces that keep employees engaged and productivity bars raised.