In the dot com era, companies created spaces to recruit talent and give them no reason to go home. It was not unrealistic to have daycare, dentists and dinner all part of the office experience. Today, it’s more about flexible work arrangements and creating spaces that inspire employees to want to head to the office versus staying at home. It’s about designing a space that makes the team feel valued, even pampered, and bringing in some hotel and home elements to be less like the boring offices of the past. Today’s office could help you lock in your ideal recruit, differentiating you from the competition and getting them to yes much faster. Much like traditional medical benefits have evolved to meet people where they are in life, offices are evolving too – especially post pandemic – and the focus on people is a critical part of the package. Could your space give you an edge? Absolutely. Here are the latest trends to elevate the employee experience.
How have office spaces changed to accommodate hybrid schedules/remote workforces?
The biggest difference post pandemic is that offices have more of a hospitality feel. We’re incorporating more lounges and soft seating. There are living room type areas and the amenities to match. Break rooms have doubled in size to support catered meals and more room for gatherings. And, it’s not uncommon to see high-end espresso machines and other upscale offerings to engage and treat the team.
What are the top new features or trends that motivate people to come in?
We’ve gone from open to even more open spaces to encourage collaboration and maximize natural light. Today’s finishes are high end and the designs we bring to life are increasingly custom, innovative and in line with current trends. In fact, one of our favorite new features is helping pickle ball courts go corporate.
What are some examples of office features geared toward employee wellness/intentional design that you’ve seen? Has anything changed?
From flexible work schedules to investing in flexible workstations, companies are giving employees more control and more choice. Not only are there mother’s rooms, but there are also wellness rooms, meditation areas and nap pods. New buildings are featuring more outdoor areas and to give employees a more direct line of sight to the outside, more and more architects are moving offices off the exterior.
What has gone away with flexible work schedules?
Traditional breakrooms have had such a makeover they’re barely recognizable. They’re still called the breakroom, but they’ve doubled in size and the amenities are a draw to get people in the door. Much like the kitchen is the focal point of a home, today’s breakroom is a critical component to any new office space and feature all the upgrades of a well-dressed home or in some cases a favorite coffee shop.
What do you think is coming next?
The war on talent will continue to drive innovation in interiors construction because to entice and impress people, you must raise the bar whether you are hybrid or not. In response, we’re seeing so much movement in our industry and enthusiasm for creating spaces that have never been done before. The Texas economy is strong, and it has created tremendous opportunities for our team and our partners to not only keep up with the trends but to forge new paths.