As 2022 comes to a close, we look back at the 12 months and share the key things this year has taught us about office design.
In 2020, the role of the office was uncertain. So many of us were working from home as a result of the pandemic – and we liked it! Many questioned if we needed the office at all. Fast forward to 2021 and offices had a resurgence. We missed that interaction and camaraderie can only come from meeting in person. As a result, offices evolved into spaces for collaboration and creativity.
If 2022 has taught us anything, it’s that the office still has a key role to play in the world of work. Research shows that hybrid working is most people’s preferred working pattern. An office is therefore still a necessity for the majority of companies. The role of the office looks set to evolve again in 2023 as employees face the cost-of-living crisis. Early indicators show that staff members may come into the office more frequently as home energy bills continue to rise.
Sustainable office design remained a key issue in 2022. The UK has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. As each year ticks by the need for action continues to grow. Many businesses are getting ahead of the game by reviewing their carbon footprint. In the UK, around 25% of our emissions come from residential and commercial buildings. To address this, sustainable construction and green design has become much more common place.
As well as being good for environment, sustainable office design also makes good business sense. An energy efficient office is cheaper to run. In fact, research from the Department of Energy & Climate Change suggests businesses could reduce their energy bill by up to 25% by installing energy efficiency measures and encouraging behaviour change. As fuel bills look set to continue rising in 2023, we predict many more businesses will investigate sustainable design as a cost-saving measure.
Sadly, the last few years have been some of the most challenging we’ve ever experienced as a country. We’re still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. Couple that with the cost-of-living crisis and it is no wonder mental health issues are on the rise.
This year, staff wellbeing has been a big concern for many employers – but a global survey from HR organisation, Adecco, showed that employers are not always offering the offering the right support. The survey states that the top thing an employer can do to improve staff wellbeing is to offer flexibility. This means that in 2023, having an office culture and working environment that facilitates flexibility will be more important than ever.
We’d love to predict a steady year ahead but it’s already looking like 2023 will be keeping us all on our toes! The world of work will undoubtedly change to keep up with the changing world around us – but, just like before, businesses will evolve and rise to the challenge. At Opus, we’re here to support you every step of the way. If you think your company would benefit from our expertise in 2023, get in touch. We’d love to start your new year on a high with the office of your dreams.