Last year, we predicted flexibility would be the norm by the end of 2016. We were right; more people demanded flexible work hours, more companies started using coworking and serviced workspaces as a way to motivate employees and give them options on where to work from, and we saw yet more work-life integration.
Looking ahead to 2017, workplace trends stem to a certain degree from this accepted work and workplace flexibility. As companies and workers become more comfortable with alternative ways of working and alternative workspace options, the shift we are likely to see this year is how this flexibility formalizes itself–or so to speak.
As more workers and more companies opt into using serviced workspaces, you need to make sure that your workspace is aligned with current trends, value, and expectations.
Here are 4 workplace trends that can make or break your workspace in 2017.
Wellness Becomes More Valuable
Last year, we wrote extensively about wellness in the workplace and how it was starting to shape workspace design as well as workplace culture. With more flexibility around schedules and where to work, the concept of work-life balance transformed itself into that of work-life integration.
The idea with work-life integration is for workers to be able to synergize their personal and professional lives. The stress associated with having strict division between work and life often leads to depression, anxiety, frustration, and a general imbalance in juggling a career and a family.
Because of this, many companies and workspaces have started to embrace wellness in their design, operations, and day-to-day activities. Many workspace operators now offer an on-site gym or a special price with a gym nearby; some offer yoga and meditation, while others are starting to use design as a way to encourage physical activity during the workday (or night).
Many workspace operators have also begun to offer healthy and wholesome snacks in their spaces and during events, as well as incorporate green life and natural light in their environment.
Focusing on wellness and making sure that you have programs and services that contribute to your members’ wellbeing will be key in attracting and retaining large and small clients. It’s about removing the barriers that prevent people from making healthy choices. By operating a workspace that makes it easy for members to make healthy and wholesome choices about their lives, you will be able to create a strong bond that’s more likely to lead to loyal clients.
Workspace Conducive to Collaboration
There is no denying that the workplace in general has undergone a complete makeover. Companies have started to see the value of collaboration and are finding ways in which to drive and encourage collaboration within their company, as well as with outsiders.
Collaboration has been linked to innovation and creativity, two aspects that are essential for any company and product to be successful and sustainable.
In order to take advantage of this trend, workspace operators will need to make sure that their workspace environment is conducive to collaboration and that they are creating enough opportunities for their members to find ways in which they can collaborate with one another.
Back to the flexibility and giving workers the opportunity to choose where they get their work done. This year we will see how corporate coworking will continue to grow and become a norm among companies of all sizes, types, and across cities.
Corporate coworking goes along the lines of workspaces that encourage and drive collaboration. Companies want their employees to mix and mingle across departments and create a genuine and strong workplace culture. Additionally, the cost savings associated with integrating coworking into a company’s corporate real estate strategy are not to be forgotten.
As a flexible workspace provider, you can use this increase in corporate coworking as an opportunity to expand your services and also expand (or redesign) your current space. Though various companies will choose to create and run their own corporate coworking offices, many others, including Fortune 500 companies, are likely to take advantage of the workspace-as-a-service industry. In order to attract these clients, you need to make sure your workspace has the capacity to welcome large and small teams and that you can offer various types of work environments that will appeal to companies and employees alike.
The only-open workspace won’t cut it anymore, and neither will the traditional executive suite. You need to evolve your workspace or else you’ll find that companies won’t turn to you as a workspace solution.
Integrating Technology in The Workspace
No, we don’t mean high-speed Wifi–although you do want to make sure your internet connectivity is up to the latest standards–it pays off.
We mean incorporating cutting-edge technological solutions that can make your workspace more efficient and comfortable for the end-user. It could be something as simple as mobile technology that helps with security and controlling access; or it could be incorporating sensor data into the workspace.
The important issue is to be able to find ways to make your workspace more efficient; find ways through which you can improve.
Which areas are used the most? At what time of the day? Which areas remain mostly empty? How can you change that? These are all questions that can be answered by incorporating technology into the workspace and being able to analyze the information that gets sent back to you.
Technology moves faster than any business today, and it’s important that you are able to keep up with the changing pace and face of tech innovations and solutions.
Technology powered the workplace revolution, and it will now power the workplace evolution.