Office Trends 2024: Q&A Insights from apoprojekt Planning

In 2024, the demands for office spaces are more varied than ever. Offices now need to support focused and productive work, offer places for social interaction, incorporate the latest technologies, and provide solutions for well-being and sustainability.

Our member, apoprojekt believes that to compete with the comfort of working from home, offices must become true "destinations"— places with a welcoming atmosphere, high quality, and real value. apoprojekt spoke with Bjørn Polzin, the Head of apoprojekt's Planning Department, for his valuable insights.

Bjørn Polzin, what will the office of the future be like?

Digital or Green? Green. Having green elements in the office is proven to be calming and helps reduce stress. Real plants make any workplace more enjoyable. The future office will be more of a biophilic jungle than a space dominated by smart screens.

CO2-neutral or more? CO2-neutral. Going beyond, such as adding green energy to the grid, will be seen only in a few high-profile projects. With the current economic situation, most will only do the minimum required. Regulations also limit options, such as with PV systems over 100 kWp.

New or Old Buildings? Old buildings. The future lies in renovating old buildings. This not only offers tenants a connection to the building's history but is also more sustainable than new construction. Renovations can be complex and surprising, so a thorough inventory and an experienced construction team are essential. When done right, old buildings become highly attractive, sustainable office spaces.

AI-smart or Not? Both. Building control technology is crucial for saving energy. It's important to document the actual energy consumption of each technology. However, a high-tech building is not always better for the environment.

Connected or Digital Detox? Connected. A productive workplace needs stable connectivity and flexibility. The trend is moving away from open spaces. If home rest isn't possible, rest rooms at work can be an option, but they are likely to remain rare.

Celebration or Workplace? Workplace. Focused work is important, and the best place for this varies by employee. Sometimes home works best, other times the office is better. Real interactions in the office foster social connections and synergy between departments.

Residential or Office Flair? Residential flair. Future offices will be more comfortable and high-quality, using natural materials to make them preferable to working from home. These "destination" offices will be places where people enjoy spending time.

Nature or Future Look? Nature look. There is a trend towards a Scandinavian style with natural and healthy materials.

Movable or Fixed Walls? Fixed walls for now, due to better acoustic performance. apoprojekt is testing products that can be flexibly repositioned without demolition for future office adjustments.

Appealing to Many or All Senses? Many senses. Good materials enhance the tactile experience, and a pleasant environment can make employees feel good and smile. However, scents are tricky since they can be very personal—what is relaxing for one person might be unpleasant for another.

Summary from Bjørn Polzin: Since the rise of home offices during the Corona pandemic, it's clear that most businesses need less office space for workstations. However, more space is needed for gatherings and fostering a sense of company identity.

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