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4 Important Factors to Consider While Building Interiors of Future Workspaces It's very imperative to understand your customer's expectations from the workspace and this is how you can do that

By Ashok Kularia

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There is no doubt that the workspaces of the future would exhibit even more agile and collaborative ecosystems. The world is increasingly moving towards including a remote workforce and accommodating new age concepts like desk hoteling, wherein a hot desking culture is combined with options to reserve personal spaces.

Technology, Ergonomics, Sustainability, and Transparency are no longer considered as elements of luxury while building workspaces. They are very much woven into the workspace fabric and the design and build ecosystems have to ensure that these elements marry each other seamlessly to increase the productivity and well-being of the occupants.

So, how do we ensure that we build the right interiors for the future?

The basics of building interiors of the workspace still remain the same. However, we need to take care of the following 4 areas:

1) Understanding Occupant Persona and Their Requirements

It's very imperative to understand your customer's expectations from the workspace. Offices these days house multiple generations of the workforce, depending on the industry. You should ideally look at speaking to a sample set representing each of these multi-generational occupants to learn more about their work profiles, their aspirations and what enhances their productivity while at work. The same can be facilitated through an e-survey, focused group discussion or even an informal conversation over a cup of tea. You would be surprised to know how insightful such discussions can be to help you build a relevant workspace which bears into mind the present and future needs of its workforce.

2) Investment

The investment for an interior fit-out project will vary depending on the type of office fit out expected. Projects requirements can encompass either shell or core, Cat A, Cat B or Turnkey fit-outs and accordingly the investment plan is finalized. Hence it's very imperative to decide upon the type of fit out that best suits your company's needs and requirements. The fit out investment will usually take into consideration materials, project management, electrical services, furnishings, lighting, contractor fees and everything else. This should include everything which will help you build a workspace which facilitates collaboration and creativity for your employees.

3) Space Utilization

Space costs are rising exponentially. Hence it's even more imperative for facility managers to calculate and consider the most optimum way to utilize available space. With the advent of new age technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), it's possible to understand existing space usage and take modification decisions based on user data to ensure that the available space is fully utilized. For e.g., companies can now understand which meeting rooms are being used at what time during the day and can modify the lesser used ones into augmented workstations.

4) Sustainability

There is no doubt that the workplaces of the future would be even greener than the ones right now. The Millennial and the Generation Z workforce are quite aware and sensitive to the environment around us and would love to ensure that their workspaces echo their sentiments. Biophilic elements like planters, nature-inspired art, vertical wall gardens, natural light and also subtle sound effects and scents can bring employees closer to nature at their office. Also, we have increasingly seen organizations wanting their workspaces to be LEED and WELL certified, and using such biophilic elements is a cost-effective strategy to boost their overall score for these certifications.

While these are the main ones, there are multiple other factors like health and safety, building codes, communication networks which also affect decisions on the type of interior fit-outs used for an office space. In case you are redoing your workspace, you should consider connecting with a professional consultant to ensure that you make the right decisions for building your future-proof office.

Ashok Kularia

Managing Director, ANJ Turnkey Projects Pvt. Ltd.

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