Socially Aligned: Cultural Shift, Commercial Offices, Live/Work Amenities
The worldwide cultural platform will see the workplace continue to evolve as we head into 2021. Collaborative work environments will include both online and remote work atmospheres, even when the pandemic is no longer the present concern.
Coworking spaces will continue to be integrated with amenities such as meditation rooms allowing for a balance of social and relaxation embodying that important sense of community and togetherness. While virtual platforms allow for connectivity it’s imperative that consumers have a sense of socialization. The lines will also continue to blur between residential and commercial spaces while people seek comfort and familiarity.
This past year saw a forced exodus from commercial office spaces to home office spaces worldwide and, while many companies find the need to go back to the office, to many the benefits of working from home outweigh the complications. Due to this cultural shift, satellite offices and home offices will be taken more seriously, and design will reflect that. Companies like Herman Miller and Vivint are marketing typically commercial products to working-from-home consumers and companies to find a blend that allows the work force to be as efficient as possible.
Home offices are also adopting efficiencies found in commercial spaces, finding inspiration in open plan layouts, office amenities and technology.
The Dot Com generation of the last several years saw a shift away from closed offices to more of an open and social environment. The current evolution of that has birthed the concept of the Anti-Office. This concept is not necessarily driven by the pandemic but heightened by the need to help people feel comfortable and safe in an environment that they cannot control, like they would at their own home.
With that evolution, offices will be mindful of finishes that not only are clean, but look and feel clean, appliances and fixtures that are automated, spaces that feel welcoming and residential, and more open areas and modified HVAC systems to promote air movement and ventilation.
Hospitality and Multi Family amenities were already shifting over the last decade to “organic” workspaces that blurred the lines between live/play/workspaces, and we see that continuing with even more importance as more people are working from home, and in turn can work anywhere.
The main change we see is being able to address these spaces with the heightened awareness of overall well-being and comfort with washable surfaces, open air, fitness components and modified food offerings to be mindful of pandemic concerns. Incorporating fitness spaces, meditation spaces, virtual and augmented reality, and other spaces that foster creativity for multiple personality types will also be on the radar.
Resimercial (short for residential commercial) incorporates a home-like atmosphere into work and it is quickly becoming the defining trend of 21st-century office design.