Insights

Office Design Specialist Heidi Hendy Forecasts Eight Predictions for the Office in 2013

Newport Beach, Calif. – (October 2012)Heidi Hendy, owner and founder of H Hendy Associates, is predicting some bold changes for office space in 2013.

“Office space will focus on efficiency, transparency and productivity,” says Hendy. “Tomorrow’s office will rely heavily on technology and be more cognizant of the environment.  Offices are trending toward space design with a positive impact on work production, office culture and the bottom line.”

#1 – The millennial generation will “shake up” office space

Companies like Google and Facebook have the set the bar for fun, energetic, loosely configured offices. Millennials are entering the workforce in large numbers and typically balk at the traditionally structured office environment.  In order to recruit and retain millennials, companies will need to literally tear down walls and provide an open work environment with collaborative spaces and a socially interactive culture.

#2 – Office space will drive interaction

Office space that fosters collaboration leads to increased innovation, productivity and accountability. Hallways and office traffic patterns will be designed as “collision areas” to encourage the cross-departmental sharing of information. Expanded kitchens will become informal meeting rooms.  Cubicle walls will be lowered to promote interaction between neighbors, and smaller ad-hoc meeting rooms will be scattered throughout the office space.

#3 – Personal space will shrink

Hendy predicts that office space will continue to diminish in size. In the past, each employee occupied about 250 square feet. According to CoreNet Global’s Survey in 2012, employees now average 190 square feet each. Hendy predicts that this number will continue to drop and by 2017, employees will occupy 100 square feet in nearly half of all companies.

#4 – Work space will expand beyond office walls

With the convenience and commodity of laptops and cell phones, the office is no longer confined to four walls. More office buildings will be designed with Wi-Fi in the surrounding campus, turning outdoor seating areas into work areas. There will be greater mobility throughout the office as well.  Employees may work part of the day in a soundproof, private workroom to concentrate in peace and spend the rest of the day in an ad-hoc conference room collaborating with team members.

#5 – Cost-cutting will drive telecommuting

Hendy estimates that by 2015, over half of today’s employees will be working from home one to two days a week.  “With today’s digital culture, we can work from home, work from a coffee shop or wherever we are comfortable,” explains Hendy. “Technology has made the word ‘office’ an intangible concept.” Telecommuting will be a substantial contributor to reductions in employee overhead.  It is estimated that when one employee telecommutes from home, a company saves $11,000 to $13,000 annually. In 2011, Fortune Magazine reported that 82 percent of companies on its annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list allow employees to work from home at least 20 percent of the time.

#6 – Sustainability efforts will double

Hendy anticipates a change in how companies prioritize sustainability into new office designs. “Sustainability efforts, unlike the going green trends of the past, will be implemented into daily life at the office in a much stronger way,” predicts Hendy. Sustainability that is good for the environment and cuts costs will become status quo in the modern office. Companies will cut electricity bills by utilizing natural light in office space with lower workstations, install dual computer screens at workstations to cut down on printing, and install motion sensors for lighting to lower energy costs.

#7 – Desk setups will evolve

Hendy predicts that technology will continue to change business processes and influence design indefinitely.  As with cloud computing, smartphones and teleconferencing, technology advances will continue to untether employees and promote productivity. The desktop and desk phone will become endangered in a world of portable devices and unified communications.  Need more details from Heidi. Also very redundant to those already mentioned – maybe there’s only 7 predictions?

#8 – The headquarters will resurge

As technology reduces the need for multiple regional offices, a central headquarters will reemerge to strengthen corporate cohesion and reduce operational costs and carbon footprint.  The spread of employees nationwide will more often include a mix of consultants and contractors who are virtually connected to the headquarters.

About H. Hendy Associates

For more than 30 years, H. Hendy Associates has provided interior architectural services to a prestigious client list including Nike, Verizon, Rockwell Collins, Network Capital, Pacific Sunwear, Buy.com and more. H Hendy Associates has recently redesigned Telogis, Core Logic and Incipio.  H Hendy Associates offers a full spectrum of services from strategic planning, creative design interior architecture services and ongoing facilities management. The firm is located at 4770 Campus Drive, Suite 100, Newport Beach, Calif. 92660; (949) 851-3080. For more information, visit H. Hendy Associates at www.hhendy.com.