Design für Büro- und Geschäftsräume

Design for Office and Business Premises

Future Trends in Office Design

The 21st century office requires intensive restructuring. Among the primary goals of office design in the future are accentuation and differentiation of a business within the global markets in the sense of corporate identity. Visual identification has priority.

Not only the marketable product or service is dependent on a “unique characteristic”, but also the company as a whole, in its presentations and internal processes has to distinguish itself clearly from the competition.
A distinctive corporate design of office and workspace plays a significant role in this process of individualisation.
Current trends in both interior and furniture design are globally emerging with specific design approaches with terms such as “narrative”, “nodal” or “nomadic” or “hotelling” or “motelling”.
If the office interior informs about products, goals, work

processes of the company and tells their story and development, then the design approach is called „narrative“. Most of the large companies currently prefer this narrative element for an effective corporate design.
The “nodal” or “nomadic” (also called “hotelling”) office type is a central hub of work stations for geographically spread work places and is furnished to service constantly travelling employees – with the possibility to reserve in advance single desks or conference tables, technical equipment, lockers, personal services, etc. In his planning the modern office designer has to take into account this new kind of mobility.

Current trends in office design take into account following facts:

In the digital age fewer employees are needed, therefore continuous attendance is no longer necessary and work hours and location are flexible and changeable.
The new design concepts are largely not realised exclusively but overlap, significant details from various trends merge as required.
All modern, future-orientated concepts have one thing in common: decisive appreciation of flexibility, mobility, transparency, cooperation, communication and interaction. These demands apply not only to room design and furnishings, but also are trend-setting for business

processes and personnel policies. The contemporary office designer includes in his ideas the important factors of successful management such as employee loyalty, work environment and work motivations, etc.
In our globalized world, competition for qualified employees and specialists has intensified, especially when it concerns the realization and establishment of innovative projects on international levels. As a result, there is an increasing need to offer employees an attractive and stimulating working environment.

Modern office design shows (largely conform internationally) that following features: sterile, conventional and dull office containers are outmoded. These are replaced by imaginative, distinctive, colourful room designs with modern, efficient interiors and individually conceived workspaces.

With the immaterial mode of production in the IT age, offices look less like a working place. Work equipment is becoming smaller and wireless networks make floor boxes and thick cables obsolete. Small “cubicles” are a thing of the past; the new design objective is an “open environment”. Employees (even department heads) no longer work in separate rooms but in open plan offices with eye contact.
Desks are moveable segments, which if necessary can be combined into large working spaces (conducive to teamwork) and later, again separated into individual “modules”.
A user-friendly alternative, which does not occupy much space, is the high desk (sit-stand), which allows for several work positions and complies with all ergonomic standards.
These multifunctional furniture systems save space, are economical and assist the flexibility of the employee.
The optimal room usage prevents unoccupied workspaces and vacant expensive office spaces. The few dividers within open-plan offices are made of glass; the whole space can be seen and suggests a feeling of transparency – on all levels (also for higher level decision making processes). If necessary, blinds can act as a screen and offer intimacy.
Within the work organisation flat hierarchies and independent action are gaining importance.

These new work structures require a high degree of communication and cooperation. Efficient and productive

interaction develops best between employees in a stimulating environment with a comfortable atmosphere.
For this reason, imagination and creativity of the designer, focuses on the design of the common rooms, i.e. on spaciously laid out communication rooms, recreation areas and lounges.
These retreats are furnished with all conceivable amenities, which allow stressed employees to forget that they spend a large part of their life at work. One can lounge in a comfortable armchair or couch, enjoying a latte macchiato or having small snack, meditate in the dim light of a tent, hold informal talks in an UFO beach chair while looking at life size exotic plants or waterfalls.
The cool aesthetic of former recreation rooms makes way for idyllic nature settings with warm colours and natural materials. For “active” relaxation often sporting equipment such as table football, miniature golf, tee boxes, climbing walls and swings are available.
When recreational activities are integrated into the work environment, overtime becomes less important, motivation and company loyalty increases.
Professional office designers know that satisfaction of employees is decisive for the success of the business and therefore include such cultural anthropological findings in their design concept. They combine “high tech” with “well-being”.

Designing of offices or business premises is and will remain a dynamic process. Socio-political developments, markets, business strategies, ecological and economic conditions are subjected to rapid changes. An end of the technology boom is not foreseeable. Efficient design concepts can only be developed based on a thorough analysis and inclusion of all these facts and have to rapidly adjust to the newest developments.