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The idea of a workplace has been changing as new design trends and modern technology allow more flexibility. From stuffy, boxed, and uniformed cubicle styled floors, office layouts and workplace designs are now varied from open floor plans to colorful hubs that aim to be trendy and more functional.  

For many years, functionality and maximizing headcount have been a priority of most companies when setting up an office especially here in the Philippines. Having a Master's degree in Corporate Real Estate, specializing in Workplace Strategy, I've observed how recent trends are shifting to prioritizing the optimal employee experience and their well-being.

Here are the ones companies should consider and employees should look forward to in 2020: 

Prioritizing Health and Well-being 

Modern office layouts and workplace designs have become one of the most effective measures of promoting the employees’ health and general well-being as they spend time at work. Studies have linked the working environment of individuals with their physical and mental health, as well as their happiness and productivity 

In 2020, more companies will make great efforts in developing and introducing enhancements in the workplace that promote the employees’ overall health and comfort with the goal of boosting productivity, attracting & retaining the best talents and increasing positive engagements among all employees.

Modern office designs are adapting to reflect the importance of employees’ health and happiness, not only to boost their productivity, but also to establish themselves as companies who invest in their people’s general well-being. 

This workplace design is achieved by utilizing ergonomic office furniture that aims to stimulate greater focus in perception, memory, reasoning and motor response. Moreover, these furniture and equipment such as chairs, keyboards, monitors, among others are designed to reduce the stress and strain on the spine, eyes, neck, hips, carpal tunnel, etc. while working. 

Recreational Breakout Areas 

In line with promoting the general wellbeing of employees, areas, where they can take a break and socialize within the workspace, is also an emerging trend. As part of promoting a broader sense of health, providing areas where colleagues can unwind and interact is found to affect their work performance and work outlook as well. Office relaxation spaces where employees can unwind away from their working schedules are steadily gaining traction, as the lines between work-life balance become more blurred. 

Cultivating Company Culture 

Defined as a unique personality, branding, or character of a business or organization, a company’s culture translated to the overall design of the workspace is also another trend. 

Most of our clients’ identity and culture are defined and composed of its people, without the people, a business cannot exist and KMC helps our clients be more mindful of this, keeping their employees’ best interest at heart.

In fact, this has been studied closely and researchers have found that there are impressive benefits incorporating your brand identity to your office. It can greatly impact business and its ability to attract and retain employees. Participants of this study say that when the company culture is incorporated into the workplace design, they feel more connected and engaged. 

Towards Sustainability 

As the call for more initiatives to combat climate change has become more urgent, sustainable and ‘green’ workspaces are greatly encouraged. In fact, LEED-certified buildings are implementing measures to make sure that their tenants follow certain protocols to be more energy-efficient and sustainable in the long run. The call for ‘green’ real estate transcends not only on the design of a building but on the operational level as well. 

Designing a workspace towards sustainability can also have multiple effects on employees and the environment as well. Maximizing natural light and getting natural by bringing in more natural materials and plants in the space is a great way to be environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, and encourage productivity too. 

Advocating Inclusivity 

Creating an accommodating, diverse workplace is not only emerging but also one of the most important trends in workplace design. While it will undoubtedly lead to many measurable benefits such as increased innovation, designing an inclusive workplace is a crucial step towards advocating and employing qualified PWDs.  

universal design for office creates an environment that can be used in the widest possible range of situations without any need for adaptation. This could mean improved accessibility, providing ramps, opting for larger screens, adjustable desks, and chairs, etc.  

As the definition of a workplace is becoming more and more flexible, it is also timely to blur the lines that limit those who need modifications in order to function and work in an office. 

Being a full-service real estate solutions provider, KMC assists clients in translating their company culture and identity and to design a workplace promoting the overall wellbeing of their people. 

We help them understand that the benefits of focusing on providing a better workplace experience have long-lasting effects not just on the employees. Ultimately, the impacts of these efforts will also be manifested on their business goals and operations.