The Multi-Tasking Office: 2016 Office Design Trends To Watch

In 2016 we are likely to see a shift in the open collaborative office toward a more mindful office layout that creates a balance between open and private spaces with the added flexibility of mobile furnishings. Multi-tasking furnishings that can transition, much like the ever-changing workscapes of today, will take center stage.

Flexibility has been a significant trend in the work environment for the past several years. As the workforce has become more mobile, so now will the office environment. Furnishings and modular components that can be mixed, stacked, combined and moved around to perform innumerable tasks are part of a new trend that could end the traditional permanent office layout. We have seen the beginnings of this trend with the flexibility of the open office design concept. The merger of mobile furnishings and collaborative office design will generate the opportunity for custom multipurpose workspace design.

The open office layout is adapting, and this custom trend will allow for some improvisation. Incorporating private spaces and dedicated team meeting spaces are coming back to the design aesthetic. The open office concept was fostered in the oversized loft spaces of larger metro areas where every square inch of rental space was commandeered by startups and growing businesses. Most often these were rental spaces that did not allow for custom options. The open concept was the quickest way to get an office up and running. If you are one of the thousands that landed there, don’t fret. You don’t have to start looking for a new space to satisfy your team growth, you just need to rethink the space planning.

The flexible office space trend will also accommodate the shrinking office-bound workforce. If you have fewer people sitting behind desks, mobile furnishings can give you more adaptability. More companies are realizing the impact workplace design has on productivity and a company’s bottom line. Research from Gensler, the global architect, and design firm reveals that poor workplace design costs U.S. businesses an estimated $330 billion in productivity each year.

Designing for flexibility and accommodating the differing workstyles of today’s mobile workforce are essential to productivity. Good space planning, the right furnishings, as well as input from your team on their environmental needs, can get your 2016 off to a great start! According to, here are some other trends to watch in 2016:

  • Hiding the wires
  • Bringing the outdoors in
  • Multipurpose workspaces
  • Designated lounge areas
  • Offices organized by color
  • Community tables or huddle rooms
  • A mix of different textures
  • The end of permanent layouts

If you have any questions or are considering an office redesign, please contact us. Our team can help you meet and exceed those challenges. For more ideas, visit us on Pinterest and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



DSC02233-462666-edited.jpgMEET JANICE COONS: Janice assists clients seeking space planning, design and furniture for offices, health care, and higher education. Armed with her extensive knowledge she dilligently fits the right style into any budget. Connect with her via email or by calling 888-910-3769, x113.