It is that time of year when companies are reassessing their processes and the role of their workplace. When it comes to an office fit out in London and Kent and as a Kent, wider South East and London office fit out contractor it’s our job to understand shifts in work patterns, processes and the environmental changes that impact on a business, so we have tracked and analysed some of the notable trends that we believe will dominate office design and layout in 2020.
Let’s start with Brexit.
Brexit and Streamlining Work Processes to Add Value
Who knows what the future will holds for Brexit. What we do know is that it is impacting on businesses throughout the UK right now. There is a desire to streamline processes in a bid to improve workforce productivity and increasing their value.
It’s happening on a global level too. According to an international survey on ‘The Seven Organisation Changes Affecting the Workplace in 2020’, 49% of organizations are looking to introduce new skills and better work processes.
This leads us on to our next subject: non-standard work agreements.
Non-Standard Work Agreements
Freelancers, partnerships and networks will inevitably enable businesses to introduce new skills without the financial commitment of employing fulltime staff.
This goes hand in hand with the 33% of businesses that are adopting a non-standard work agreement to reduce their fixed costs, meaning there could a rise flexible working arrangements for employees, or staff could be required to use their own devices for work.
What we know from the survey is that companies across the globe are looking to reduce their fixed costs where possible in 2020.
As a result, it can be assumed that more companies will be looking to adapt their workplace to accommodate a broader range of workers – from teams to individuals.
Hot desks and activity-based workstations will become dominate fixtures within the office environment. High speed internet connection will be equally important to companies that use freelance workers and those that adopt non-standard work arrangements.
Working Remotely and Telecomms
As we can see there is a demand for different skills, changes in work habits and business practices, which will inevitably lead to a further rise in remote workers – those that either work from home, or in shared office space.
While technology plays its vital role in supporting these changes, it appears that nothing quite replaces human interaction. Therefore, it is no surprise that video conferencing rooms, hot desks, creativity lounges and cafes are the top-most desirable facilities for a 2020 office fit outs:
- Video conferencing 39%
- Hot desks 39%
- Creativity lounges 38%
- Café 27%
Concerns for the environment are heightening and companies are taking more responsibility for their impact on the planet.
Undoubtedly, remote workers are supporting the efforts to reduce traffic on our roads, but businesses are also seeking to:
- Improve recycling
- Implement paperless procedures
- Use vegan and recycled products for their office fit outs
- Implement planting within the office environment to improve air quality
- Implement intelligent building systems to save energy consumption
Let us elaborate on the last one on that list – intelligent building systems.
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting are one the largest environmental factors of running a commercial setting. However, there are systems that can help landlords and tenants to reduce their energy consumption and improve efficiency in the workplace.
A central monitoring and control system allows users to control fire alarms, CCTV, security, heating, cooling and lighting systems within every area of the building. It will automatically warn users of a fault within the HVAC system, which can prevent an AC unit overworking and refrigerant gas leaks.
Intelligent buildings also feature a heat recovery system that transfers heat from one area of a building to another, thus reducing energy loss.
In 2020, we will see a rise in businesses and landlords adopting intelligent building solutions for a more efficient and eco-friendly workplace.
Work Life Balance
Did you know that the most likely causes of absenteeism from work are mental ill health (59%) and stress (54%)? Shocking, right? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that concerns over mental health at work are slowly but surely being addressed by senior management. A report by CIPD in 2018, including employees and employers, states that 61% agree health and wellbeing is on senior leaders’ agendas. This is an increase from 55% in 2017.
Employers are understanding that wellbeing can significantly impact on the business and a preventative cause to stress and mental health issues is necessary.
Large health organisations are supporting employers in their efforts. The British Heart Foundation for example, provide a health at work employee survey for employers to download and share with their staff.
This level of insight is essential to a business in 2020, especially when embarking on an office fit out in London.
Having said that, surprisingly, London is not the number one most stressful cities to work. Perhaps that is because London offices are leading the way in promoting wellbeing at work. The seaside town of Brighton is in fact the most stressful place to work according to researchers at the Office of National Statistics. This was closely followed by Leicester, then London took third place.
When undertaking an office fit out in order to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace, involving staff in the office design and layout could be exactly what your company needs.
Our article on Insightful Office Refurbishments explains that ONLY 50% of businesses ask staff for their input when planning an office fit out and 31% of employees would sacrifice 1% or more of their salary for an office refurbishment and enhanced facilities.
If you are planning to factor in wellbeing to your Kent or London office fit out in 2020 it’s worth considering:
- Breakout areas and booths where people can get away to work or just have some time out
- A welcoming kitchen area for breaks
- The air quality and temperature
- Comfort and convenience
- Height adjustable desks to create a more active workforce
The 2020 Office Fit Out in London, Kent and South East in Summary
Having reviewed the latest business trends, we have compiled a list of our top office fit out features for 2020to help companies in London, Kent and the South East future proof their office design and layout:
- A tele conferencing space for remote workers
- Booth style furniture to create quiet spaces for people to work alone and be productive
- Smart Monitoring and Control systems
- Planting to purify the air and promote a natural and relaxed environment
- Project spaces for team activities
- Recycled products – fabrics, worktops and furnishings
- Breakout spaces for impromptu meetings or a relaxed place to work
- A café or office kitchen for a home from home feel, where teams can bond and communicate freely
- Recycling bins for easy and simple recycling
For more information on how to improve your office space in 2020 with a refurbishment or office fit out in London, Kent and the wider South East, please contact the JBH Refurbishment team today!