1. Sharing the office
Coming out of difficult business times, we have seen a few companies trying something different.
We come across more and more clients looking to sublet their space and the positives of this outweigh the negatives.
Of course there are huge benefits to shared resources as rent, technology and utilities are expensive… and the opportunities to build communities are great. Humans are built to be sociable and share experiences. In a shared office space networking happens, ideas can incubate and a greater collective view is formed.
We’re predicting more and more companies (and especially start-ups!) to continue this trend in 2014.
2. Workplace embraces brand
In November we highlighted Google’s new office space at King’s Cross as an amazing and imaginative concept. But Google aren’t the only ones investing in their workplace. Many businesses are taking this step as they see it as an exciting opportunity to bring alive their brand environment. It brings “Wow” to clients, but it also rewards and motivates employees.
A recent study showed that over 60% of people in a non-traditional fit-out said that it improved their productivity*.
Great workplaces are becoming destinations where potential clients and customers can visit and hang out. So it makes sense that transforming a workplace into a memorable experience can help build relationships.
This is a growing trend where more businesses will discover the potential of their workplaces and make improvements to inspire their work force and astound clients in 2014.
3. Staff tech as powerful as business
When the first Motorola DynaTAC (the brick) was released 40 years ago, there were very few of us that would have imagined mobile technology to be as incredibly powerful as it is today.
Mobile phones are integral to the workplace; in a recent survey 46% said they made use of mobile phones in their work**. With tablet devices fast following, many employees have access to more powerful personal tech than the company’s IT department.
Agile working and being able to repsond and access knowledge and information gives any organisation the advantage. More businesses in 2014 will face the challenge of integrating slick mobile technology and those that are not afraid of embracing and partnering with employees technology will outpace the competition.
Watch out for the business IT dinosaurs to move aside in 2014.
4. Return to crafty skills
Every business is looking to be unique amongst their competitors. How do you look better, be more authentic and create a strong impression? Mass produced business incentives or staff gifts rarely remain in peoples minds, but a lovingly crafted product with a true artisan story behind it can add to a business brand values.
31Trum is a company who specialises in creating bespoke leather works. Everything from hidden Oyster card wallets to architect’s drawing quivers; they never turn down a challenge.
These products enable conversations to spark about the personalised product and plant a memorable moment into hearts and minds. In 2014 more businesses will be looking for unique products and experiences to link to their brands.
31Trum did our RAW quiver.
5. Designers & architects fall more in love
The relationship between a designer and an architect is set to grow stronger.
Many companies brand their environments after a building has been completed. Therefore the designer has to work around the existing structure – limiting the creative freedom needed for a brand to be expressed in the workplace.
In 2014 there will be a growing number of architects choosing to work alongside interior and design experts to create brand environments that include business values from conception.
With the increasing demand for urbanization, innovative architects will strive to stand out above others. Architects will need to think more about the ripple effects of their decisions, and in order to do this they will need the support of designers with real foresight.
*British Council for Offices (BCO) study