2019 office trends: Agile ways of working march triumphantly on
- With agile ways of working moving into everyday office life, the requirements for the office space are changing
- Five generations at one desk for the first time: interlinking the needs of different age groups and diversity more important
- Speed of development has significantly increased with the progress of digitisation
Munich, 24 January 2019. From A for Alexa to Z for Generation Z: tomorrow’s world of work relies on an identity-defining environment, integrates technical innovations into everyday work and fosters collaboration between different generations. “The modern office is reinventing itself in 2019 too”, says Sven Bietau, Managing Partner of the Munich architectural and consulting company, CSMM.
Using corporate architecture to combat interchangeability
When the workplace becomes more open and flexible, then a company’s identity must not be allowed to fall by the wayside. That is why the trend in 2019 is for corporate architecture. “Because employees’ needs for agility are similar across companies and industries, office concepts and working environments are also becoming more and more alike. Companies must therefore increasingly learn to differentiate themselves through their interior design and facilities.” The working environment must fit like a made-to-measure suit, particularly when it comes to creative minds. Creating a pleasant, but still company-specific working environment is the responsibility of the architect. Doing this will also be determined by the finer details of the corporate identity. “In the struggle to attract talent in 2019, more than ever, it pays to realise your own company values creatively in design terms, so that they can be experienced by everyone involved,” says Bietau. Corporate architecture portrays your company identity through construction.
Digitalisation: implementation in everyday office life continues
In 2019, in these times of rapid technical progress, more and more shelves and paper files are also being replaced by files on office computers. This creates space which can be put to other use. “In the future, certain parameters will play an important role in the development of office concepts which are not even considered yet today,” explains Bietau, with reference to acoustics, internet bandwidth and open spaces for experiencing virtual reality. To be able to maximise potential, expansion of the technical infrastructure is essential and is always on the agenda for companies. Further examples include additional rooms for virtual meetings and workshops, as well as so-called holoportation – a form of three-dimensional object presentation – or the integration of digital voice assistant systems in the office.
Get together, work together
Global companies, an international working environment and multicultural employees – as society changes, so the work demands experienced by individual generations are also constantly changing. One distinctive feature will be that, in the coming years, up to five generations will sit around the same table together for the first time. Trends like mixed-use offices will emerge, in which there is a diverse range of different workplace options, instead of the classic fixed desk space. Increased team working will also bring the generations together even more strongly, quickly and closely. “Rather than standardising, companies should instead cater for staff diversity in terms of the different generations, genders, cultures and working practices and capitalise on these,” says Bietau. In the future, companies will compete directly for talented and highly qualified workers from Generations X, Y and Z, who will in turn be working alongside baby-boomers. “Every generation has different expectations in terms of work and the office’s technical and creative facilities. In this respect, individual planning takes into account employee autonomy and their freedom to choose a place to work as well – you work where you are.” The different generations also have varied and sometimes diametrically opposite demands in terms of status, flexibility, working materials or sense of purpose.
According to Sven Bietau, “In 2019, the main objective will continue to be to encourage communication and collaboration amongst colleagues and to design and shape the office as a meeting place.”