Office Design in 2017 Will Once Again Focus on the Employee Personalized and active offices are key to worker engagement.

By Nina Zipkin

entrepreneur daily
Shutterstock

You may not realize it, but your work environment -- from where your desk is located, the temperature, even how long you are sitting -- can all factor into how industrious and collaborative you and your team are.

Stephanie Douglas, director of workplace strategy at Teknion, a design firm that specializes in office spaces, says that going into 2017, "much of the dialogue around workplace has focused on the 'things' -- space, furniture, technology, policies -- and we're seeing the conversation shift to really focus back on the employee."

This emphasis on the employee's experience -- especially with regards to health and wellness -- is going to inform many of the workplace trends in the year ahead.

Related: 5 Reasons Businesses Should Favor Function Over Flash

Communal and collaborative space
Jennifer Busch, vice president of architecture and design at Teknion, says that she sees more offices making it possible for employees to not be restricted to one desk or office. Busch views this trend as an embrace of the ethos of tech-driven remote work habits. Depending on the needs of your workforce, she says that swapping out individual cubicles for more communal space can not only save money, but increase employee engagement.

Personalized lighting
"Lighting can have a dramatic effect on productivity in the workplace," says Steve Delfino, vice president of corporate marketing and product management at Teknion. He's taken note of an increased emphasis on companies that are interested in providing ways for workers to be able to make lighting brighter or dimmer.

Related: Office Design? You Need to Do These 3 Things To Reduce Employee Distractions.

Staying active
Another trend on the horizon is more of a push toward standing desks. Teknion conducted a study with the University of Waterloo and found that the optimal ratio for activity over the course of the day is 45 minutes of standing to every 15 minutes of sitting. However, if you are just starting, Lisa Barday, Teknion's director of industry analysis, recommends starting with standing for a quarter of your day and sitting for three-quarters of it, then working your way up.

But beyond just sitting and standing, "work environments should be programmed and designed to promote movement," Barday says.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

I Tested the 'Invest As You Shop' App to See If It Really Makes Investing Less Intimidating

Grifin is an app that tailors a user's investments to their spending habits. Now, the app is getting even more personal.

Business News

Here Are 3 Strategies Startup Founders Can Use to Approach High-Impact Disputes

The $7 billion "buy now, pay later" startup Klarna recently faced a public board spat. Here are three strategies to approach conflict within a business.

Business News

'This Can't Be True': Google Responds to Viral Hoax Claiming the Company Is Shutting Down Gmail

The fake news release started making its way around X on Thursday.

Business News

Vice Will No Longer Publish Content on Its Website, Lays Off Hundreds of Staffers

Vice Media CEO Bruce Dixon announced the news in an internal memo to employees on Thursday.

Diversity

As a Black Woman CEO, I Built a Remote Company Not Just to Save Money — But to Mirror My Commitment to Diversity. Here's How.

To fuel innovation and global success, you absolutely need diverse perspectives — and having team members all across the world with varying thought processes, life experiences and viewpoints is the key.

Business News

Report: The Majority of Recent College Grads End Up in Jobs That Don't Need Bachelor's Degrees

Two research companies looked at a dataset of 60 million Americans.