The top four work trends in 2024
Unsurprisingly, as we head towards 2024 and move another new year further on from the pandemic, hybrid working is still set to top the agenda for organisations across the globe.
Conservative estimates suggest that as circa 80% of businesses will have retained some sort of hybrid working model, so it’s inevitable that many trends for 2024 will likely revolve around a development and maturation of the hybrid concept.
Hopefully the disconnect between how management and employees perceive hybrid working will recede in 2024, with the idea of a choice-based solution taking precedence. It seems that self-determinism, i.e. choosing when to come into the office, will become more prevalent, and it's also clear that feelings can be strong in this area, with the possibility of employees moving to ensure flexibility. Most employers are suggesting a minimum number of office days/week and have implemented desk booking systems to ensure success.
Office spaces are developing to support a different brief and need to offer more for their staff than working from home. Some employers have been waiting to see what is needed to ensure a robust understanding of requirements and are now acutely aware that their office space needs to change. Many are now vibrant collaborative hubs and those left behind will offer little to encourage staff to travel and may even risk losing talent to more exciting offerings.
In essence, with staff having adjusted to working from home, offices will need to deliver on a number of different levels, most notably the ability for teams to connect and collaborate in person. Flexible spaces that can easily respond to demand will lead to greater employee satisfaction. Open-plan spaces need to work seamlessly to support independent working and collaboration with desks, touchdown spaces, quiet booths and meeting pods, and formal meeting spaces need to support a mixture of onsite and remote attendees in all meetings.
A detailed understanding of requirements can be identified by defining a bespoke workplace strategy, and this will normally form part of the design brief.
Occupancy rates are key to understanding the number of workstations required in an agile office space, and determining this will confirm how much space is needed for your organisation. In 2024 the skill will be carefully uncovering the nuanced requirements of each client and ensuring spaces are included to support the workplace needs for all staff. The traditional model of one member of staff occupying one desk five days a week is a thing of the past. Now it’s about identifying occupancy rates and providing the right work-setting to support the task. This, of course, will have an impact both on configuration and furniture selection.
A key feature of successful office design in 2024 will be to contribute to the overall efficiency of the business by embracing the needs of its diverse workforce. In many cases, property is the second highest cost centre after salaries, and a well-designed hybrid office space may well deliver a better solution in less space…
For Carol Chinn, Design Partner at The Workspace Consultants, 2024 could herald the most significant implementation of agile working and hybrid offices we’ve ever seen. ‘It seems agile working is here to stay,’ comments Carol. ‘And we have to assume that most businesses are as serious about attracting and retaining the best talent as they are about fulfilling their goals for growth and progression. They will therefore need to the investigate carefully what their offices need to offer to support their staff to ensure a vibrant and active office space. Data collection through space utilisation studies, e-surveys and staff interviews will inform management teams as to how to ensure a robust brief to create and deliver the best hybrid office experience in the short and medium term, and how to continue to evolve into the future.’
The Workspace Consultants offer office design and project management services in Cambridge, London and Manchester. If you need to adapt your workspace to your employees’ changing expectations, call us on 01223 656111 or complete our enquiry form to book an initial discussion.