2019 Workplace Design Predictions

2019 San Francisco workplace office design trends

These Trends Will Influence Your Office’s Corporate Real Estate Footprint

As we kick off 2019 by partnering with clients new and old, we’re excited to pause and consider what design trends will shape our workplace in the coming year.

In 2018, we saw more companies focusing on designing for wellness and creating flexible workspaces where employees can seek solitude or work collaboratively. Here are six workplace trends our team thinks facilities managers and real estate professionals will be focusing on in 2019.

More flex space

Since open offices are here to stay, we predict flexible workspaces that allow both focused, independent work and group projects to become even more of a priority. More importantly, it’s what employees want: 53% of employees surveyed in mid-2018 value working in different spaces throughout the day.

Many clients have been adding additional non-work spaces for collaboration, such as coffee bars or micro-kitchens. These spaces offer opportunities for interaction between teams and the casual exchange of ideas.

Increased focus on the outdoors

Given the studies that show incorporating plant life into your workspace can help ease employee stress, we expect more companies will start introducing outdoor elements to their designs. Biophilic design, which involves using natural design elements like sources of natural light and fresh air, is especially appealing for departmental managers seeking to improve team productivity and reduce mental strain.

This could come in the form of living walls and more houseplants in communal spaces. It could also be created by placing open office desks near windows for employees to enjoy throughout the day and shared communal spaces on the interior of the floor plate.

More comfortable, home-like spaces

Research suggests that more comfortable office spaces can improve productivity. Some companies, such as our client Redbubble, created a soothing home environment by fashioning a meeting space after a cozy library.

Redbubble cozy library and meeting space

More growth into co-working spaces

Most people think co-working spaces are only for freelancers and small businesses. However, many larger companies are busting that myth and leasing co-working spaces to provide flexibility in their real estate strategy.

In mid-2018, Facebook announced that it would be leasing almost all of WeWork’s latest co-working space in Mountain View, California. We suspect more companies will be following Facebook’s lead in 2019. Partnerships with co-working spaces allow larger companies to get available office space faster for projects requiring a quick turnaround, without requiring a large spend on buildout.

More retrofitting old warehouses

Companies continue to look for ways to differentiate their facilities from others in order to attract top talent. One strategy that will continue to gain traction is be renovating old buildings, such as warehouses, into high-tech office space. The exposed beams and high ceilings add character to an office and are defining elements for tech companies such as Gusto. The HR software company recently renovated Pier 70 in San Francisco to create a fresh, unique space for employees to work and collaborate.

What facilities or workplace trends do you think we’ll be seeing more of in 2019? We’d love to hear from you!

Retrofitting old warehouses for modern office workspaces trending for 2019 and beyond.
Gusto’s new home at Pier 70 tells a story about history, community, and relationships. Photo credit to Gensler.