6 Workspace Design Trends to look out for in 2023

2022 saw plenty of exciting advancements in office design, from hyper-flex refits to radical redesigns.

However, 2023 is expected to bring even more significant changes to the workspaces. Our founder member Area highlights the top six office design trends for 2023 and beyond, including the continued importance of flexibility, creating offices that become destinations, replacing burnout with balance, prioritizing sustainability, valuing the outdoors, and utilizing technology to its full potential.

Flexibility is still front and centre

Flexible working has been a significant topic in recent years, and it looks like it’s here to stay. As employees have reshaped their work-life balance and fully embraced the hybrid working model, workspaces have evolved to fit this new brief. With research showing that hybrid workers are 22% happier than those working onsite full-time, in 2023 workspaces need to cater to this new mindset by offering a modular approach to their design.

Offices need to offer the best solution for on-site workers and remote workers alike, supporting collaboration for both. A well-designed workspace should have a layout that is versatile and can be easily deconstructed to adapt to occupant needs – whether it’s socialising, focussing or being fully connected to the team while working from home.

Asking yourself whether your office has adequate spaces for your office workers to collaborate in person and remotely, if your tech set up still reflects your current ways of working and if your collaborative spaces inspire creativity and new ways of working is a great start to understand if your workspace has the flexibility it needs.

Offices evolve into destination spaces

More and more office spaces are looking to the hospitality and retail sectors for inspiration. The most successful workspaces in 2023 will have the plush interiors of a posh social club, with a cosier and more inviting atmosphere than the average WFH environment.

Employees are now looking for a space they want to be in and that provides the optimal environment to do their job in the best possible way.

From oversized chairs and comfy sofas, to inspiring brainstorming environments, coffee and fitness facilities and pet-friendly spaces the office needs to go above and beyond the comforts of people’s homes and go one step further.

Swapping burnout for balance

Almost half of the workers surveyed in 2022 were close to burnout. Remote working was meant to solve this problem, but many are experiencing more stress and anxiety than before.

The best workspaces in 2023 will prioritize employee well-being by creating calming, restorative environments. Providing areas for relaxation, meditation, and yoga can help employees avoid burnout. The Wellness Wheel is a great tool to help businesses incorporate the right elements focussing on three key factors: Mind, Community and Body.

Air quality and biophilia

Sustainability is essential to many workers, and workspaces that prioritize the environment and sustainability will attract the top talent in 2023. Workspace designers should aim to use eco-friendly materials, minimize waste, and reduce energy consumption wherever possible. Green walls, air purifying plants, and indoor gardens will also be popular.

This year, more businesses will enhance their air quality beyond just air conditioning. Clean indoor air has shown to increase productivity by over 10%. Some easy tips include making sure your air vents are open and unobstructed, to regularly changing air filters, managing humidity and bringing in fresh air by opening the windows.

Biophilia is another great way to improve indoor air quality. Plants absorb toxins and produce oxygen, a natural driver for employee wellbeing and productivity levels.

Uniting for a greener future

The UK is set to hit net zero target by 2050 – and all sectors are responsible to help the country achieve this goal. The built environment accounts for 40% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, and with the majority of buildings for 2050 already built we can’t afford to ignore this trend.

Fortunately, sustainable design can still be stylish. The use of natural materials that last longer and embrace the circular economy is key to sustainable design, as is sourcing and conserving resources more responsibly. Working with suppliers committed to carbon neutrality and using recycled materials with a lower environmental impact are simple ways to make a positive impact and reduce carbon emissions. Some great sustainable options include reclaimed wood, cork, bamboo, timber, and recycled steel.

In addition, there are initiatives, such as working with ethical office clearance companies like Waste to Wonder, that can help make your workspace more sustainable. By reusing furniture and other non-confidential or data-holding devices, businesses can save embodied carbon and market value.

Area is taking an active role towards reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, being one of the first companies in the construction industry to have science-based targets validated by Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) Learn more about their SBTI commitment and their recent B Corp certification

Creating a sense of belonging through office interior design

Belonging and a sense of community are a key priority for employees in 2023. More than just a great place to work, employees want shared experiences and a place to belong. Creating a workspace that promotes diversity, is welcoming and inclusive for everyone, will be crucial to attracting and retaining talent.

Brands can use the workspace as a narrative device to tell their stories and showcase their individuality, purpose, character and values throughout the workspace. This will contribute to higher levels of engagement, productivity, innovation and retention, and create a more successful business.

To find out more about Area, click here: https://area.co.uk/