Written by Harrell Hunter Scarcello, guest blogger for the Business Relocation Resource Center.
- Working from anywhere at any time will continue as global companies with offices distributed across many time zones continue to grow.
- Corner offices and rigid workstations morph into unassigned space as the emphasis on a mobile workforce increases. The end of ‘Dilbertville.’
- Offices look and feel more like hotels – nice hotels, or like playpens for 20-somethings.
- Desktop computers – even laptops – begin to surrender to tablets.
- Software with steep learning curves yields (sometimes reluctantly) to apps and intuitive user experiences.
- The Cloud usurps on-site servers.
- Crowdsourcing will become more common as social networks continue to gain supremacy, possibly replacing interoffice email.
- Sharing vs. owning (think Zipcar, Airbnb), software subscriptions and open source software vs. license purchases. The Free Culture movement pushes for open access to documents and research.
- Improved collaboration tools are now as easy to use as apps (Doodle, WebEx, Yammer).
- The elusive work-life balance will become easier with companies realizing the toll of a 24/7 pace of work. For example, Daimler Life Balance promotes email diversion to a colleague during vacation.
- Need for privacy is not well supported in the open offices of the 21st century. We need various types of work zones including those for private or collaborative work. The paradox of living an open-book life on the web and still craving privacy online and in the workspace is still to be reconciled.
- Sustainability in buildings and workplaces grows in value. Multi-use spaces that are easily reconfigured/updated are preferred and command higher prices.
- Bright, saturated colors played off against whites or crisp neutrals dominate office design trends.
Harrell Hunter Scarcello is principal and founder of Scarcello Associates, an interior design firm dedicated to helping clients analyze their space needs and plan physical space to support corporate strategies and ensure a productive, innovative workplace.