If you took someone from an office 25 years ago and dropped them in a London office space today, they’d hardly recognise it as an office. No fax machines, filing cabinets, CDs… Office spaces have changed drastically in the last couple of decades and even more so in the last few years.
Offices today look like places you actually want to work in. Fluorescent lights and cubicles have been replaced by varied workspaces, oodles of natural light and mood-boosting houseplants.
The pandemic forced businesses to change how they work. Concepts like remote and hybrid work went from theories that many employees dreamed of to realities. As the world returned to the office, it wasn’t the office they’d left behind and had been forever changed.
But the changes haven’t stopped.
So what does the future of office space look like? At Canvas, we’re always keen to keep on top of office space trends, so we dug out our trusty crystal ball to take a look into the future. If you want to see what the future looks like, sit tight as we’ll be sharing growing trends and our predictions of what the future of office spaces in London looks like.
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1. Remote and hybrid working models are here to stay
Not a massively surprising prediction, but remote and hybrid working aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Both remote and hybrid working has been adopted by thousands of companies following the return to the office due to the many benefits they offer employees and employers.
The key benefits of remote and hybrid working models include:
- – Increased employee satisfaction
- – Better work-life balance
- – Reduced office space costs
- – Increased flexibility and productivity
- – The versatility to use office space
A recent survey by Gartner revealed that 82% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work from home for some of the time. Companies of all sizes are adopting hybrid working models, including Nike, Klarna and JP Morgan.
2. Office spaces will prioritise employee well-being and adaptability
Alongside the rise of hybrid and remote working, another trend that has been growing rapidly in the last few years is the focus on employee well-being. According to a recent study by Ipsos, 75% of companies globally say that employee well-being is important to their company.
While we’re likely to see more well-being initiatives like more paid leave and better employee benefits, we’ll also see an increase in office features designed to emphasise well-being and productivity. These design elements will include:
Many office spaces in London are already embracing this trend. Our new offices in Farringdon are designed with employee well-being and productivity in mind, and they feature breakout areas, plenty of natural light, a communal pool table and (saving the best ‘til last) they’re dog friendly.
3. The four-day workweek will become more popular
The five-day workweek has been such a staple of employment for so long that it’s difficult to imagine it changing anytime soon. But it will probably happen sooner than you think.
While there is still some debate about the four-day workweek, multiple studies have shown that it’s a viable option for a huge range of businesses. A recent trial of the four-day workweek showed that staff well-being and productivity dramatically improved. Of the 61 companies that took part in a UK trial, 56 have extended the trial, and 18 have made it a permanent arrangement.
With growing awareness of the importance of mental health and well-being in the workplace and the need for businesses to remain competitive in attracting and retaining top talent mean that we’ll see more companies adopting the shorter workweek. The benefits include:
- – Improved work-life balance for employees
- – Increased productivity due to reduced fatigue and burnout
- – Potential cost savings for businesses (e.g., reduced energy consumption, lower overhead costs)
- – Three-day weekends!
4. Technology will be seamlessly integrated into office spaces
Technology has become such an ordinary part of our lives that it’s easy to forget about it. Most of us use three or four different communication tools every day at work. From Slack and emails to Zoom calls and shared drives, we’re constantly using these tools, and that’s not going to change any time soon.
But what will change is that the tools we use will become more streamlined. Companies across London and the world are already using new tech to boost employee productivity and collaboration. PwC recently carried out a study on using VR tech for employee training and predict that the metaverse will become a part of our daily work life.
But it’s not just communications that’ll be upgraded tech-wise. Here are some key areas where technology will continue to shape our work lives in the future:
- – Expect communication tools to be more interconnected, allowing for seamless collaboration across platforms.
- – AI-driven virtual assistants will help manage schedules, answer routine questions, and streamline workflows.
Virtual and augmented reality
- – VR and AR will become more commonplace in employee training and remote collaboration.
- – Virtual conferences and meetings will reduce the need for business travel, saving time and reducing environmental impact.
Smart office solutions
- – Occupancy sensors will optimise office space usage, adjusting heating and lighting according to occupancy.
- – Energy-efficient systems will reduce operational costs and contribute to a more sustainable work environment.
Automation and AI
- – Routine tasks and processes will increasingly be automated, freeing up employees to focus on higher-value tasks.
- – AI-driven insights will help businesses make data-driven decisions, boosting efficiency and competitiveness.
5. Flexible office spaces will dominate the market
If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that businesses need to be flexible to thrive (or even survive) and offices are no different. For some time now, the concept of a traditional office space has been disappearing. More and more businesses are looking for spaces that are adaptable to their needs and this trend will only grow in the coming years.
2021 saw unprecedented demand for flexible office space and a recent study by JLL conservatively predicted that 30% of offices will be flexible by 2030. It’s no surprise that flexible office spaces are attractive to businesses of all sizes. They offer scalability and cost-effectiveness that traditional offices just can’t compete with.
If you’re not quite sure what a flexible office is, it’s a type of workspace that offers a variety of customisable options (they’re also called serviced offices). These spaces are designed to be flexible and adapt to the needs of different tenants, with features such as open floor plans, shared amenities like kitchens and meeting rooms, and flexible lease terms.
Here are just some of the reasons more businesses will turn to flexible office spaces in the near future:
- – Cost-effectiveness
- – Flexibility in terms of lease and office configuration
- – Networking opportunities
- – Shared amenities
- – Prime business location
Find your future-proof London office space today
One of the most difficult elements of finding a new office space in London is finding a space that suits your needs now and in the future. It’s a difficult balance to strike – go too big and you can lose money, go too small and you’ll need to move office sooner than you’d like.
Flexible office space is one of the best ways to get the balance spot on. By choosing a flexible office space, you can scale your office space as your grow without needing to worry about leasing restrictions.
At Canvas Offices, we’re passionate about helping our clients and their teams create, inspire, and flourish in the workplace. We achieve this by combining incredible design, top-notch facilities and flexible contracts.
Flexibility lies at the heart of what we do. Our personalised private office spaces come with adaptable terms to suit your needs now and in the future. We also offer a huge amount of choice in terms of location, space, and working style. Plus, all of our offices come with:
- – High-speed internet
- – Wi-Fi access
- – All-inclusive utilities
- – Breakout areas
- – Kitchens
- – Meeting rooms
- – 24/7 access
Find your future-proof London office space with Canvas Offices today. Explore our office spaces in Mayfair, Shoreditch, Old Street, Dalston, Farringdon, and Clerkenwell to find your new HQ. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to get in touch and we’ll do everything we can to help.