Embracing the Evolution: Redefining Office Space with Emerging Design Trends
In the dynamic landscape of office design, a revolution is underway, reshaping the traditional workplace into vibrant hubs of collaboration, creativity, and community.
At Martin Selig Real Estate, we’re at the forefront of this transformation, embracing innovative concepts that redefine the meaning of office space. From the concept of “third spaces,” to a myriad of other emerging trends, our approach to office design reflects a commitment to fostering environments where teams can thrive and excel.
In this blog, we’ll explore the shift in office design, emerging trends, and highlight spaces within our portfolio to demonstrate.
Third Spaces: Catalysts for Connection and Creativity
Amidst the rise and fall of the pandemic, the concept of “third spaces” or the social hubs beyond the realms of home and office gained increasing popularity. As employees began working from home, participation in the urban fabric of major metropolitan areas, like Seattle, decreased.
This sudden lack of space variety, partnered with remote work, leaves employers with one question— “How do we create an environment our employees want to return to?”. As we’re starting to see across the market, the answer is simple: blur the lines between home and office, while offering the benefits of third spaces.
Third spaces are now emerging as pivotal elements in modern workplace design. As The Harvard Business Review predicts, “[offices] will become primarily a culture space, providing workers with a social anchor, facilitating connections, enabling learning, and fostering unscripted, innovative collaboration”. These versatile environments, ranging from cozy lounges to bustling cafes, provide employees with opportunities to collaborate, socialize, and recharge outside the confines of their desks.
These spaces also allow the opportunity to showcase company values and build culture including the addition of employee lounges, game rooms, assembly areas, and informal seating. By incorporating elements of third spaces into office design, we’re creating dynamic environments that inspire innovation, foster relationships, and enhance employee well-being.
Agile Workspaces: Flexibility for the Future
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, agility is paramount. Many companies have adopted “hot desking” as part of their office practices. Hot desking refers to non-dedicated, shared workspaces; employees have a different desk or space each time they visit the office.
As a result, many new spaces are characterized by adaptable layouts and modular furniture, that empower employees to customize their environment to suit their changing needs and preferences. Whether it’s reconfigurable desks, movable partitions, or collaborative pods, these flexible spaces accommodate diverse work styles and promote seamless transitions between individual focus and group collaboration.
Biophilic Design: Bringing Nature Indoors
Biophilia, a concept popularized by Edward O. Wilson in 1984, identifies the innate relationship between humans and nature. As urban development continues to grow, our relationship with these structures and environments is gaining popularity among researchers.
In the workplace, researchers have identified that not only does biophilic design promote employee wellness but boosts performance. In fact, a recent report shows that biophilic workspaces can improve employee productivity by 6% and creativity by up to 15%. As a result, employers are prioritizing space that provides ample natural light and views and are including features such as living green walls and indoor gardens.
Our most recent development, 400 Westlake, is the pinnacle of biophilic design. As part of Seattle’s LBPP, 400 Westlake offers panoramic views of South Lake Union, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a rooftop deck complete with native flora— All while generating 105% of the energy it consumes. In addition to 400 Westlake, 3101 Western, 3rd & Harrison, and 635 & 645 Elliott are all designed with biophilia in mind.
From easy-to-access greenspace and indoor gardens to ample natural light and panoramic views, our spaces harness the restorative power of nature to create inspiring and rejuvenating work environments.
Health + Wellness Initiatives: Nurturing Body and Mind
Recognizing the importance of employee well-being, wellness initiatives have become integral to office design. From ergonomic furniture and adjustable standing desks to wellness rooms and meditation spaces, our environments prioritize the physical and mental health of our occupants.
Not only are employers seeking increased wellness spaces and opportunities, but many are also choosing to offer increased fitness opportunities including fitness centers, climbing walls, and on-site programming.
At MSRE, we’ve recognized this demand and offer free in-person, on-demand, and live fitness classes for all tenants, whether they’re working from home or in the office. In addition to programming, we’ve also introduced new fitness centers across our portfolio, including at 4th & Blanchard, and the Federal Reserve Building.
By fostering a culture of health and wellness, we’re cultivating happier, healthier, and more engaged teams who are equipped to perform at their best.
Technology Integration: Enabling Connectivity and Collaboration
As technology continues to redefine the way we work, its integration into office design has become indispensable. From smart lighting and temperature control systems to wireless charging stations and interactive displays, our spaces are equipped with cutting-edge technology to enhance productivity, connectivity, and collaboration. Not only are we incorporating cutting-edge technology within tenant spaces, but also within MSRE’s broader amenities including our newly opened conference centers at 4th & Blanchard and the Federal Reserve Building.
By seamlessly integrating technology into the built environment, we’re creating frictionless experiences that empower teams to work smarter and more efficiently.
As we navigate the evolving landscape of office design, one thing is clear: the future of work is here, and it’s defined by innovation, collaboration, and well-being. At Martin Selig Real Estate, we’re committed to leading the way with spaces that embrace emerging trends, foster connections, and empower individuals to thrive.