4 Experts Share What’s Hot – and What’s Not – for Tech Office Trends
Having a killer office space in today’s tech-minded workplace is of utmost importance. More often than not, tech startups attract savvy workers with zero interest in working at your pop’s cubicled nine-to-five.
But what factors actually go into making an office hot or not? From paint color, desk size, and layout all the way to what neighborhood your office lives in, there are a ton of elements that can weigh in on your office’s hipness rating.
To help your office stay on fleek, we sat down with four experts to hear their thoughts on current office trends. With their help, you can keep your office as chic as they come.
Skender Construction on Office Layout:
Is the open office trend still going strong?
The open office trend is still going strong in Chicago for two reasons. One: tech is using open office design to collaborate in real time and develop innovative products. Two: Corporate clients are taking cues from the tech sector and want to emulate their culture, so many organizations want open office layouts. They’re using it to attract top young talent, reduce square footage and be more efficient with their real estate.
But the open office is not for everyone, and the pendulum in many corporate environments is swinging a little too far. Employees who have to sit and focus for most of their day find it noisy and disruptive. Those who jumped on board early are now opting to add private space into the mix.
What are the most commonly requested build out features you are seeing?
I think our clients want to be open, but they’re recognizing the need for greater balance. They’re looking for ways to increase collaboration and spontaneous interaction, and use their physical space to extend their brand. All of these strategies tie in to recruitment, retention and business development.
Focus rooms — small rooms with a table, chairs and writable surfaces — are gaining popularity. These rooms give employees the opportunity to get away from noise when needed and concentrate in a quiet environment.
Cafes used to be very utilitarian, but now people see value in creating a communal environment filled with natural daylight and higher-end finishes. Cafes are great for culture, and it’s a place where people interact with coworkers outside of their department.
Almost everyone is integrating their brand into their physical environment. We recently completed Enova’s new office space at 175 West Jackson, and they integrated their logo into the elevator bank so clients and employees experience their brand as soon as they stepped off the elevator. I’m seeing branding on walls, glass and even flooring.
And of course, exterior terraces or patios are a sought after amenity. But if a patio doesn’t logistically fit into the floor plan, it doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Some of our clients have brought the outdoors inside – they’ve used sunny corners, fake grass and plant walls to create an outdoor room inside their office.
Responses from Clayton Edwards, Vice President and Partner, Skender Construction. Photo via Skender.