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21/02/2019

The office of the future: what can we expect to see 10 years on?

The office of the future: what can we expect to see 10 years on?

Office design is undergoing a transformation. Trends are rapidly changing and the ‘traditional’ office as we know it will soon be a thing of the past.

Today, health and wellbeing - along with sustainability - are increasingly becoming the top priorities for businesses. As time moves forward, we can only expect to see more and more innovative solutions that address these key areas and many of these future industry shakers will be sharing their ideas at this year’s Futurebuild (London ExCel, March 5-7).

As official water partners of the show, we will be supplying the delegates with sustainable drinking water, eradicating the need for planet damaging plastic water bottles. Read more about our involvement in this year’s Futurebuild on our recent blog.

So, what can we expect from an office space in a decade? Here, we share our vision and a few inspiring companies who are already leading the way.

 

Flexible environments

A firm trend in workspace design is providing open and flexible spaces to encourage both collaboration and quiet independent work.

With employees spending more time away from their desks, unconventional spaces within the office are on the rise. This workspace style owes its ever-growing popularity to its ability to reduce stress and boost creative thinking. Co-working spaces such as The Office Group are already at the forefront of this design-led change, creating a growing number of flexible offices that cater to the needs of the modern workforce.

Something we can expect to see more of as we move towards 2030 is a commitment to creating warm and welcoming social spaces that mix both commercial and residential design trends. Forget the stereotypical dingy kitchen, with a microwave and kettle tucked into a corner, office kitchens, lounges and other break-out areas will soon boast home comforts and modern appliances fit for a busy workforce.

 

Zip Futurebuild top pick: Beneficial Environments – stand C194

It’s not just about office spaces being aesthetically transformative. What we can’t see could be just as important. Beneficial Environments creates innovative solutions to reduce exposure to electromagnetic radiation. The company surveys homes, offices and workspaces and implements simple changes to reduce symptoms of electromagnetic sensitivity and help promote a healthy lifestyle. With our world becoming more and more reliant on technology, understanding the effects is important for a healthy future.

Hydration

Statistics show that when a workforce is properly hydrated, they are happier, healthier and more productive. Poor hydration can affect wellbeing in employees, physically and mentally, with the potential to cause fatigue and induce negative moods.  

We expect to see more office spaces providing employees with easy access to advanced drinking water systems to help encourage the workforce to stay hydrated. Plus, we’ll see less sustainable options being replaced with solutions that aren’t reliant on the use of single-use plastic cups or bottles, boosting the environmental credentials of many businesses.

Our mains-fed systems, such as the Zip HydroTap and Zip HydroChill, provides instant filtered drinking water, so employees can skip the queue for the kettle or cooler and gain easy access to high-quality, crystal clear water. Plus, with a simple provision of bottles, glasses and mugs, it’s an easy step towards cutting out single-use plastic water from the office completely.

 

Visit our water bar– stand D182

If you’re attending Futurebuild, make sure to visit our water bar, located in the Interiors Hub. We will be keeping all the delegates at the event hydrated - without the need for single-use plastic bottled water - while also educating guests on how drinking water in the workplace should form a key part of sustainability strategies. Reusable water bottles, including the iconic Chilly’s bottles, will also be available to purchase from the stand.

Light

Providing sufficient lighting can create the illusion of bigger spaces and also help to maintain our internal body clocks, which enhances productivity and helps support good sleep quality. We can expect to see more office design that takes into consideration not only the use of natural light from windows, but the positioning and quality of lighting installed. With poor lighting having the potential to contribute towards eyestrain, productivity loss and headaches, it’s no small matter.

Think flexible, easily adjustable and energy efficient lighting in abundance. It is something that can be so easily provided for an office space. Say goodbye to harsh strip lighting, electronic lighting that mimics natural light is a key trend for future workspaces.  

 

Zip Futurebuild top pick: Waldmann – stand A180

We are particularly fond of the lighting solutions offered by Waldmann, who can be found at the Interior’s hub. Our favourites are the desk-mounted luminaires that can be switched on and dimmed to meet an employee’s personal needs. Plus, their products use either LEDs or highly advanced compact fluorescent tubes, enhancing energy efficiency.

Energy

While it may not be visible, what powers an office is not only an important consideration, but something we see as a priority as we work towards a more sustainable future. The Government has already stated its intention to accelerate clean energy innovation and to have halved the energy costs of new buildings by 2030.

There are now several energy providers such as Bulb, Green Energy UK, PurePlanet and more who supply 100% renewable electricity, which can make a huge difference. According to Bulb, each year their average member saves 1.3 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, which has the same effect as planting 655 trees!

 

Zip Futurebuild top pick: Termofol – stand D214

Termofol, exhibiting in the Energy hub, creates flexible central heating systems which utilise infrared radiation – using up to 60 percent less energy than conventional heating methods. By using clever new carbon crystal technology, it is 100 percent safe and can be used in spaces that range from a small house to a large warehouse. So, employees can stay warm in the winter while energy consumption stays low!

The office of the future?

With Futurebuild bringing together the very best and latest innovation, technology and products for the built environment, it’s clear that the offices we want to see in 2030 are completely within reach. Workspaces that maximise on sustainability and wellbeing are the future and we’re excited to see the benefits they will bring to staff and the environment.  

 

 

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