“Effective organizations today are built around highly empowered teams,” according to research from Deloitte. In the year ahead, business executives are expected to focus on the cultivation and retention of talent to maintain competitiveness. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index found that 62% of CEOs plan to increase the size of their workforce in 2018.

Chee Tung Leong, CEO of EngageRocket, predicts that 2018 will be the year of “Employee Experience,” as employees today expect a more enjoyable and engaging work environment.  As a result, executives will focus on developing an ecosystem that incorporates performance management with culture and engagement.

Global HR company Randstad has also identified trends and market factors that will impact the US workplace, so that leaders can make necessary changes to maintain the connection between talent and profitability:

  • The talent shortage will outpace wage stagnation
  • Agile and flexible workforce models will expand
  • Employers will hire for culture and soft skills, train on hard skills
  • STEM skill needs will continue to increase
  • AI and automation will advance
  • Talent analytics will become more sophisticated

With a growing demand for creativity and innovation, more and more workplaces are adapting to fit this need. Google and Amazon have been pioneers in alternative spaces, employing architecture firms like NBBJ who uses data to track all possible ways in which employees can travel through the office space in order to create a design that fosters collaboration.

Ted Moudis Associates, another architectural firm that designs office spaces across a variety of industries, conducted research of over 1,400 recent projects. The firm reports that in the past several years, it has seen “widespread adoption of progressive concepts” that through technology, are “challenging traditional assumptions about the workplace.”

“Companies will continue to promote their workspaces and design them to facilitate interpersonal relationships between employees. While technology can make us more efficient, and feel highly connected to one another, it will never replace face-to-face conversations. Leaders who encourage personal connections will have more committed, satisfied and productive workers.”Dan Schawbel, Research Director at Future Workplace

Within the next year, Ted Moudis Associates expects the following key elements to influence office space design:

  • Visibility and transparency. Open perimeters, transparent glass walls, and low partitions have become the new norm
  • Technology and mobility. Wireless offices are enabling activity-based work environments to flourish
  • Variety and choice. Informal collaboration spaces and alternative settings are increasingly being incorporated, even in traditional work cultures
  • Design that promotes movement and space for rejuvenation and restoration, improving overall morale
  • Amenities as destinations. A strong focus on amenities is driving activity in the workplace and encouraging movement
  • Neighborhoods of workspace. Scalable groupings of team workspaces and ancillary spaces are creating spatial diversity

Have you considered the ways in which your workplace environment affect employee productivity and collaboration?