Who would have known that the scriptwriters of Back to the Future had such an accurate perspective of our world back then? Predicting video calls, biometrics and flat screen computers were all part of the magic that made the trilogy so fascinatingly brilliant, so what exactly is our obsession with the future and what’s coming next?
Our desire to be ahead of the curve seems relatively intrinsic, with many of us spending our morning commute dreaming about what is next; predicting anything from house prices to the price we’ll pay for Brexit, or discussing and debating the next use case for AI.
Future trends it’s a subject that we shall never tire of talking about, so with a bit of research and a touch of creative license, we’d like to share our thoughts on how things might look in the workplace of the future.
There will be rainbows and unicorns everywhere!
You may think this is a marvellous (or perhaps rather scary) thought, but it’s not exactly what we mean. We are of course talking about colour and creativity in design. Whilst there is a small appetite and trend for colour in the workplace, on the whole, we remain safe in our choices of colour schemes, opting for whites and greys as a safe option.
Psychologists would argue, however, that colour has a big role to play in both our mood and our productivity. It has been suggested that the colour blue helps to reduce stress, splashes of yellow promote innovation and that green is best if you work long hours.
Workspace Design predicts: Colour will be called upon for special feature areas. For example, in breakout spaces, meeting rooms or pods and feature walls, where a nod to colour is offers a playful twist. But don’t fear, we are confident that the white and airy designs we so fondly love will stay strong.
There will be more work, less play
Informal spaces that blur the lines between work and play were born from a trend pioneered some time ago now by the cool kids of Silicon Valley. Companies such as Google have become synonymous and successful at keeping their employees both stimulated and creative by offering a workplace with a “wow” factor.
Since then, designers around the world who are looking to engage with employees – mostly the Millennials – have gone to great lengths to instal ping-pong tables, slides, sleep pods and suchlike within their office spaces, on the basis this will appeal to and help retain the cream of the crop.
This is a challenging and risky approach, especially when commercial real estate in London is at an all time high. Many serious businesses simply don’t lend themselves to the quirky, laid back approach that advertising agencies or tech companies can afford to pursue.
Workspace predicts: There will be a place for a pop of colour and a pool table here and there, but we’re guessing that this office “talking point” trend may have peaked for now, in favour of an office focused on less distractions and a more flexible, agile workspace.
Our workplace will be way more active
Recent studies have highlighted the health risks associated with prolonged sitting such as heart disease and diabetes and given we are currently spending around 42.7 hours a week sitting at our desks, this is not surprising.
Staying active and healthy as part of a consistent routine enables us to be better employees. Being active can enhance productivity, make us more focused and alert, elevate our moods and help us manage stress better.
Whilst this isn’t necessarily groundbreaking news, we believe that the Office of the Future will do more to encourage an active workforce, especially as there is a direct correlation between this and both productivity and attendance at work.
Workspace Design predicts: In the future, more steps will be taken to educate and support our workforces in both their physical and mental health. We believe all offices will be championing sit/stand workstations at minimum, as well as group activities and incentives to stay fit.
To learn more about how we work, speak to Charlie.Peacock@workspace-design.co.uk