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London Build

22 Aug 2023

AI Mockups Show Workplace Designs of the Future

AI Mockups Show Workplace Designs of the Future
Image Credit: Studio Alliance

A European alliance of workplace experts has uncovered what’s in store for the future of the office, creating AI mockups of what these spaces will look like in the next 5,10, 25 and 50 years.

By looking at office space search trends from pre-pandemic and comparing them to 2023, Studio Alliance have predicted the top 10 office trends for the future.

1. Standing Desks

Given the link between a sedentary lifestyle and obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and musculoskeletal problems, solutions that give employees the opportunity to stand up for a few extra hours a day can have huge health benefits.

Regular exercise alone cannot fully counteract the negative impact of excessive sitting, the solution lies in reducing sitting time altogether. Sit-stand desks are a popular choice as they allow the user to switch positions, and combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting.

2. Laptop Stands 

A laptop stand can allow people to work more comfortably whilst reducing neck and eye strain. Working for long periods at a laptop computer can make it hard to maintain good posture, as most laptop screens are too low. It is recommended that the top of the screen should be level with your eyebrows, and a laptop stand can help raise the screen to achieve this.

Used in conjunction with a wireless mouse and keyboard is even better for employee wellbeing, as overuse of a flat laptop keyboard can cause issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

3. Ergonomic Chairs 

A good office setup starts with a chair, and there seems to be more choice than ever before in the office furniture market.

An ergonomic office chair should give you the right support, alongside a proper desk it should allow your wrists and forearms to lie flat on the desktop with your elbows at 90° and the top of your screen at eye level.

You can also try an active sitting chair, which encourages your core muscles to keep yourself upright.

4. Privacy Screens

During the COVID-19 pandemic, due to social distancing guidelines, it was recommended that offices fitted desk screens to workstations to provide a physical barrier between employees.

Beyond the pandemic, privacy screens are a great idea for open plan workspaces where employees may need a degree of privacy whilst working in a collaborative environment. Some models even have soundproofing qualities for quiet work.

5. Adjustable Height Desks

Linked to the popularity of standing desks, adjustable desks can offer the best of both worlds as they can adapt to both sitting and standing positions

6. Hot Desking

Hot desking is a way for office managers to maximise their office footprint in a hybrid working world. Rather than individuals having a permanent workstation, hot desking means that by sharing desks, companies can reduce not only office space but equipment costs and subscriptions too.

According to research by Abintra Consulting, firms with 250 or more employees in England and Wales are together spending £10,158 million on unnecessary total occupancy costs, including rent, rate and other associated costs.

When looking at the 2048 office prediction image, these trends appear to remain popular, as the office has transformed into a series of mezzanines with people working in open balconies. Permanent desks with people’s belongings seem to have disappeared, in favour of communal hot desking areas.

7. Reclining Office Chairs

Another chair option, reclining office chairs are still designed ergonomically for good posture and usually have features like a headrest and leg rest.

8. Glass Partition Walls

A more permanent solution to making enclosed spaces available in an open plan space, glass partition walls can maintain an open and airy feel whilst providing employees with more private spaces.

9. Open Floor Plans

It seems open offices are here to stay. In every AI mockup for the next 5, 10, 25 and 50 years, individual closed office spaces have all but disappeared. And with hybrid working going nowhere, it’s difficult to see how office managers could justify a closed office space.

The office is no longer a vision of endless rows of desks, with upper management tucked away in their own offices. Most employees who travel to work do so for the human connection and the ability to collaborate, and workplaces now have to reflect this desire.

10. Shared Workspaces

Co-working spaces and serviced offices can offer an alternative for companies with a hybrid workforce. They also offer the most flexibility and lend themselves well to a new business culture focussed more on hybrid work and less on bricks-and-mortar real estate. 

Source: This Week in FM

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