Workplace Trends in 2024

By: Anna Ruth Gatlin, PhD

The world of work has seen some major shifts in the last few years and, as businesses have tried out different modalities of work, a few trends have surfaced. Amenity spaces have become vital to a healthy office environment. Meeting spaces can be both centralized and de-centralized to help resources stretch. Private offices are being implemented more often than before the pandemic and many of those private offices may be shared these days—a wild thought for a pre-covid world but one that makes sense in the post-2020 environment. 

Amenity Spaces

As businesses try to make the workplace an inviting place to return, amenity spaces, like exercise areas, quiet rooms, collaboration areas and childcare areas, are being implemented. Employers realize that workers have a lot of choices and that the old model of a sea of workstations with a coffee pot in the corner isn’t going to work. By offering “perks” to come to the office, employers can recruit and retain talent while creating a positive workplace culture.

Centralized Meeting Spaces

Employers aren’t the only entities offering perks. More and more corporate real estate developments are offering meeting spaces within the building (but outside of the company’s leased space) for tenants to use as incentives to recruit and retain real estate clients. This frees real estate within the leased space for more amenity spaces and allows the tenant to reduce their footprint within the building.

Private Offices – They’re Back!

Everything that’s old is new again even in the world of workplace design. Fewer workstations are being implemented in the workplace while private offices are increasing. Private offices offer advantages that most workstations cannot including acoustic privacy, healthier air quality, more control of the items within the office and, of course, a larger footprint, which is advantageous for hosting guests and small meetings.

Private Offices – Yours, Mine, Ours?

With flexible schedules and hybrid work, more private offices are being shared by two people. By specifying separate locks on the credenza or other storage pieces within the office, two people with different schedules can easily share an office while retaining privacy and security for files and other important items. This also encourages businesses to implement hybrid work and private offices—a win-win in many employees’ eyes.

As workplaces evolve, it’s important to stay informed and shift with the winds of change instead of resisting it. Thoughtfully integrating amenity spaces, private offices and taking advantage of off-site meeting rooms can affect positive change in the workplace culture and increase employee engagement, while reducing stress and building a more productive work environment.

About the author:
Anna Ruth Gatlin, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Interior Design at Auburn University. An award-winning interior designer, she also has an established record of traditional and creative scholarly contributions. Many of her creative scholarship works examine aspects of southeastern life through an autoethnographic lens, executed in heritage fiber-arts techniques.